Opening Day in Chicago will take place with fans in the ballparks for the first time in more than a year.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration announced Monday that crowds at Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field initially will be limited to 20 percent capacity, with at least 6 feet of distance between parties.
“As a diehard sports fan myself, I’m personally excited to have Chicago take its first, cautious steps toward safely reopening our beloved baseball stadiums to fans this season,” Lightfoot said.
The Cubs’ attendance at Wrigley Field will be capped at 8,274 fans when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 1.
“Nothing can replace the energy and enthusiasm our beloved fans bring to the Friendly Confines each and every game,” Cubs executive chairman Tom Ricketts said. “We’re ready and excited for our much-anticipated Wrigley Field reunion.”
The White Sox will be allowed 8,122 fans at Guaranteed Rate Field when they open their home schedule against the Kansas City Royals on April 8.
“We believe this is a moment when baseball can indeed serve our fans and our communities again as we all hope for a gradual return to normal,” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said.
Masks will be required at both Chicago venues, which also will limit the number of entry points and feature cashless concessions and merchandise sales in an effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
At least 25 of the 30 MLB teams will open their seasons with fans in the seats, according to ESPN.
“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I thank Mayor Lightfoot for her shared commitment to a responsible resumption of fan attendance in Chicago, under protocols designed to promote safety,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said. “MLB will continue to urge fans to follow best practices for health and safety in the fight against COVID-19.”
-Field Level Media