In a big morning for signs of normalcy, local and national government agencies released updated measures that improve the status quo.
At the national level, the CDC issued the first detailed guidance for Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Those who have received the complete regimen of doses and have allowed the necessary time for it to take effect can gather maskless in indoor spaces with other vaccinated people, although they should still wear masks and maximize outdoor possibilities in more public/unplanned gatherings. Such caution is still advised because it’s unclear whether or how immunized people may still transmit the virus.
At the local level, Chicago, one of the last holdouts against allowing fans into sporting events, gave the green light to fans in the stands at Guaranteed Rate Field and Wrigley Field in April.
Attendance will be limited to 20 percent capacity, or a little over 8,000 fans at Guaranteed Rate Field. Other measures will be installed to increase distancing:
The city said both ballparks have made several safety “enhancements” in preparation for fans’ return. Those changes include:
*Ballpark entry and amenity zones limited contact entry
*Cashless concessions and retail
*Additional restrooms per guest
*Reduced queueing times
*Reconfigured indoor spaces
It’s not much, but it’s a start. Watching the 1,000-something fans at Camelback Ranch booing the early ending of innings gives us some idea of what’s been missing for the last year. The White Sox open the season on West Coast, but return to 35th and Shields on April 8. As for ticket availability, that appears to be determined.
Wonder if these means a big spike in ticket prices
Probably. I’m wondering if this is something that accelerates the trend toward smaller stadiums in the future.
I can foresee a lot of season ticket holders snatching up tickets and then marking them up on the second hand market.
This is exactly what happened to spring training tickets.
Jon Greenberg did a nice rundown on what lettiing fans into both Chicago MLB parks is going to look like. For the Sox, season ticket holders get first crack at seats for the first homestand, and if there’s anything left over, sales will open to the general public. “Both teams will only use mobile ticketing, which had been the focus anyway, and now there will be a touch-free entry process into the ballparks.”
I suspect they’re using the first homestand to see what works and what doesn’t.
Glad to see it, especially given the fact that the risk of spread in an outdoor stadium is extremely low. The only areas of concern would be restrooms, but both teams could just max out external air intake in their ventilation systems. Given the vaccination rates we’re seeing, I bet we see 50% by May and by beginning of June we’re back to full capacity.
Nice to see Eloy smashing into Robert on a routine fly… mid season form joke not needed.
Love that mlbtv has the broadcast today.
ESPN continues to troll us. On the WhiteSox page https://www.espn.com/mlb/team/_/name/chw/chicago-white-sox
The caption for the video announcing fans in the stands is:
Chicago mayor announces return of fans to Wrigley (0:38)
Relatively speaking, Dangerfield got a lot of respect.