111 Games: From 0 Fans to 10,591 Fans
On July 11, the CPBL reached a significant milestone for the 2020 season. A total of 10,591 Taiwanese baseball fans attended the CTBC Brothers’ home game in Taichung amid the global pandemic.
It was not an easy journey for the CPBL, as the league started the season with zero fans in the stands and then gradually increased the attendance limits, from 250, 1000, 2000 and to 50% sitting capacity. It took the league 111 games to get from zero to 10,000 fans.
As of today, there have been only 451 confirmed coronavirus cases with just seven death in Taiwan. Out of those 451 confirmed cases, 438 have since recovered.
Taiwan and CPBL Coronavirus Timeline
Here is an event tracker documenting how Taiwan CDC and the CPBL managed to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control with their policies. [Last updated July 11]
December 31: Taiwan started screening all inbound passengers from Wuhan, China.
January 3: Taiwan CDC held a contingency meeting regarding this “unidentified pneumonia from China”, and started preparing for epidemic surveillance, quarantine measures, medical supply, inspection capacity and plan for infection control.
January 21: First confirmed case of the coronavirus in Taiwan. It is a Taiwanese citizen returning from Wuhan, China.
January 25: Taiwan stopped all tour groups to visit China.
January 28: First domestic case of the coronavirus in Taiwan, the total confirmed cases are now up to eight.
February 7: Taiwan suspended entry for people of China.
February 10: Taiwan limited direct flights between Taiwan and China.
February 16: First death related to the coronavirus in Taiwan.
February 25: CPBL purchased and installed infrared fever screening systems at various CPBL stadiums.
February 27: CPBL team owners decided to delay the 2020 opening day from March 14 to March 28. The league installed infred
March 5: League established a pandemic panel to review and guide the league dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
March 12: CPBL team owners decided to delay the 2020 opening day again from March 28 to April 11.
March 13: CPBL no longer allowed fans to attend the spring training games.
March 17: CPBL minor league season started behind closed doors.
March 18: Taiwan implemented the mandatory 14-day quarantine policy for all inbound passengers, regardless of their nationality. The country also had its 100th confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
March 23: CPBL team owners decided to begin the season with zero fans in the stands.
March 24: Taiwan recorded its 200th confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
March 30: Fifth death caused by the coronavirus in Taiwan. The country recorded its 300th confirmed cases.
April 11: Opening Day rained out.
April 12: First game of the 2020 CPBL season between the Uni-Lions and the CTBC Brothers in Taichung. The game is played inside an empty stadium.
April 19: Taiwan reported its 400th confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
May 2: Taiwan CDC gave the CPBL the green light to reopen to the public with 250 fans per game limit. However, the CPBL decided to press for more and resubmitted a new proposal for 1000 fans per game.
May 5: CDC issued a new recommendation of 1000 fans per game, should the teams able to meet the CDC guidelines.
May 6: CDC gave the official approval to the CPBL to reopen its game to the public with a limit of 1000 fans.
May 8: CPBL increased the attendance limit to 1000 fans per game with a two-gap seating arrangement. Fans required to provide their real name and have to wear masks the entire game. No food and drinks inside the stadium.
May 11: CPBL submitted 2000 fan limits proposal to the CDC. The country also reported its seventh death caused by the coronavirus.
May 14: Taiwan CDC approved the CPBL’s proposal to increase the number of fans from 1000 to 2000 per game.
May 15: CPBL increased the attendance limit to 2000 fans per game. No outside food, but pre-packed boxed meals would be available to purchase inside the stadium.
May 23: CPBL minor league opened up for fans with a 200 fans limit.
May 26: Taiwan CDC recommended to completely remove the attendance limit at the CPBL games starting June 7.
June 5: Instead of completely remove the attendance restrictions, the CPBL decided to take it slow. The teams can now operate with a roughly 50% stadium capacity going forward. Fans are no-longer required to wear masks, but there is still a one-gap seating arrangement.
July 11: CPBL cracked the 10,000 single-game attendance benchmark with a total of 10,591 fans at the Brothers-Guardians game.