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Masks now required at mTrade Park

Parents, fans, players and coaches who come to mTrade Park will now be required to wear a mask, starting with this weekend’s tournament.

The decision was made by the Oxford Board of Aldermen during their regular meeting on Tuesday as part of a lengthy discussion regarding masks being worn outdoors in public places.

With school beginning in Lafayette County this week and next, and teams traveling from out of state or different parts of Mississippi to mTrade park this month, the Board made the decision to try and help ease the transmission of COVID-19 at large gatherings such as tournaments at mTrade Park.

Starting with this weekend’s “Time to Shine” USSSA baseball tournament, all fans, players and coaches will be required to wear a mask while inside the mTrade Park complex. Players must wear masks while inside the dugout but can take them off when taking the field.

Park director Brad Freeman told the Board he has events scheduled for every weekend through November. This weekend’s event has around 35 teams and has already been capped. The Board recommended not having tournaments with more than 35 teams signed up to help with crowd size.

“What we are seeing is people are really spreading out down the left and right field lines,” Freeman said. “The teams that have people that are sitting underneath the shade structures. They can get a little close sometimes but it’s not like a swarm of people under there.”

When asked if he had seen people who were sitting under the shade structures wearing masks, Freeman told the Board he had not seen many, if any, doing so.

An enforcement officer will be assigned to each quad of the park to monitor if fans are adhering to the mandate.

The Board also recommended spreading out the start times of games more to help with congestion in the parking lot as well as marking off every other spot to keep cars and families at least six feet apart when returning to their vehicles after games.