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Taiwan baseball league to allow fans back in ballparks amid pandemic

A limited number of fans will be allowed to enter ballparks for games in Taiwan for the first time this season as stay-at-home orders continue to loosen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Chinese Professional Baseball League announced that up to 1,000 people will be permitted to enter baseball stadiums starting Friday after an agreement between the league and Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center.

Other baseball leagues around the world were still suspended last month when games began in empty ballparks in Taiwan. The league has been operating in vacant stadiums since play started in mid-April.

“One month has elapsed since the start of play on April 11,” the CPBL said Wednesday on its official website. “With the unity and cooperation of the government and the people, the epidemic in Taiwan has eased.”

The CPBL said it will continue to maintain high levels of epidemic prevention policies to “let baseball gradually return to Chinese life.”

Baseball-starved American fans have been attracted to Taiwan’s five-team Chinese Professional Baseball League as Major League Baseball remains suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Teams in the CPBL have started to broadcast games in English on social media to engage with overseas MLB spectators.

The Korean Baseball Organization joined the CPBL as the second baseball league to begin its 2020 regular season this week. The KBO hosted its opening day on Tuesday without fans.

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