Sox Park and Wrigley Field will reopen to fans at a 20 percent capacity.
With Covid-19 related metrics trending in the right direction and Chicago’s positivity rate now at the lowest it has been since the pandemic first arrived in the city, restrictions are easing. Only last week indoor dining restrictions were expanded to 50 percent capacity and now the news has come that all baseball fans have been waiting to hear.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted earlier today announcing that both the Cubs and the White Sox will be able to welcome back fans at 20 percent capacity from their first home games in April. They will be Chicago’s first major sports teams to have crowds in their stadiums since coronavirus first hit the city early last year.
The Cubs play Pittsburgh Pirates in their opener on April 1 and will allow 8,274 fans back into the stands while The White Sox will play their first home game against the Kansas City Royals on April 8 with a capacity of 8,122.
According to the official release from the Mayor’s Office there will be at least six feet of distance between parties, all guests will be required to wear their masks at all times, and “players, fans, associates, partners, and media can expect comprehensive screening and sanitization procedures based on the latest scientific guidance.”
There will also be several enhancements and operational measures designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission including:
- Ballpark entry and amenity zones limited contact entry
- Cashless concessions and retail
- Additional restrooms per guest
- Reduced queueing times
- Reconfigured indoor spaces
The capacity rate is subject to Chicago’s Covid positivity rates and vaccination efforts so could increase or decrease depending on how the city fares going forwards.
In the press release, CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady also warned that despite the “milestone” it is “important we remain vigilant and continue to follow the public health guidance so we can enjoy everything Chicago has to offer.” Meanwhile Lightfoot expressed her joy “as a diehard sports fan” and stated that the reopening comes “thanks to the commitment of our city’s two great baseball franchises who continue to work in close partnership with Chicago’s public health officials to find solutions.”
[Featured image from Twitter / @cubs]