Baseball fans in Chicago will have the opportunity to see a game in person at Wrigley Field or Guaranteed Rate Field – at least a certain amount.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted that a limited number of fans would be allowed to attend the Cubs and White Sox games.
People, we have significantly slowed down the spread of COVID, and brought the positivity rate down to 2.8%. And now we can start welcoming fans back to our baseball stands on the opening day. Even though we are reopening, masking is still of the utmost importance. 😷⚾ pic.twitter.com/pkGnMDkSUc
– Rapporteur Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) March 8, 2021
“As a die-hard sports fan myself, I am personally excited that Chicago is taking its first, cautious steps toward a safe reopening of our beloved baseball stadiums for fans this season,” said Lightfoot. in a statement. “We are able to do that thanks to the commitment of the city’s two major baseball franchises, which continue to work closely with the Chicago Public Health Service to find solutions that are not only safe, but provide a way to increase stadium capacity safely. moves us closer to our Covid-19 recovery. ”
Both ball parks will be limited to 20 percent capacity. Guaranteed rate field, the home of the White Sox, is allowed to 8122 fans, while Wrigley Field, the home of the Cubs, is allowed to 8274.
Fans were not allowed at ball parks last season due to the pandemic, but with the Covid 19s falling, according to the Chicago Department of Health Commissioner Allison arwady, and continued progress in vaccinations, the city believes this is a good first step.
Fans, however, have had a mixed response to the mayor’s decision.
“I’ve definitely in conflict with how I feel,” Cubs fan Greg Albrecht said. “When I first saw the news about Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field, my first thought was that they should be used as mass vaccination sites. So I was a little disappointed to find out that was not the case. I think that is what our priority must be in the next few months. ”
On the other hand, there is optimism that the decision to release fans back at the stadium makes sense because more and more people are being vaccinated.
“We are approaching the point where I think it is justifiable,” said former Cubs season card holder Tim McGinnis. “The number of the vaccinated population is increasing and the number of infected people is declining. So it’s a promising trend. If protocols can be enforced, the external nature of baseball seems like a good place for fans to come back with as little risk as possible.
Due to the limited capacity, certain fans are given priority.
Cubs spokesman Julian Green said so Chicago Sun-Times that the team plans to prioritize season ticket holders to ensure that “our most loyal customers who have supported our business have the opportunity to purchase tickets first.”
“Tickets going to season ticket holders first are certainly the fairest thing to do,” Albrecht said. “These fans have invested in the passion of the team, so they should be a priority.”
We Cubs website, they say that the priority for season ticket holders will be based on time, and from there the team will hold a raffle for tickets that will be available to the public.
In a Zoom talk, Brooks Boyer, senior vice president of the White Sox, head of revenue and marketing, said season card holders will be given preference. However, he did not answer whether non-season card holders will have an opportunity to buy games for the home stock. However, any remaining tickets will be made available to the public.
“I have no problem with season card holders getting first dibs,” said White Sox fan Francisco Zamudio. “I will definitely go to a game if I get the chance. Baseball – for that matter all sports – is just not the same without fans. ”
There will be security measures that must be followed by those who participate in a game. In addition to wearing masks, they include:
- Ballpark entrance and recreation zones limited contact entry
- Cashless concessions and retail
- Additional toilets per guest
- Reduced queue times
- Reconfigured interior
Getting the fans present to comply will be important for the Cubs and White Sox if they want the capacity to be increased.
“I know [the guidelines] will not be enforceable to the letter, ”said Zamudio. “Masks will probably always be off, since baseball is such a concession-oriented game. Fans always eat and drink, and getting them to put on masks again will be a problem. If I were a vulnerable person, I would probably stay away. ”
These concerns are not exclusive to the South Side, as Cubs fans share the same concern.
“Alcohol involved will not help, and sports fans have trained towards more justified behavior in general,” McGinnis said. “Given that there is still a population that is active against the mask and any other common sense approach to minimize proliferation anyway, the employees tasked with enforcing the rules in a sports environment have a difficult task.”
The Cubs’ home opener is April 1 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The White Sox home opener is a week later on April 8 where they will face the Kansas City Royals.