While we await word from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot regarding fan attendance at MLB games in Chicago at Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field, I thought it would be useful to take a look at where the other 28 teams stand, as of Monday morning, regarding fan attendance at this time.
Scott Boeck of USA Today posted this article last Friday which runs down all 30 teams and where they stand. The article is arranged by team. Here, I’ve rearranged the teams by percentage of fans allowed.
3 percent: Tigers
The Tigers are allowed 1,000 fans at this time.
10 percent: Mets, Yankees
The State of New York is allowing “stadiums and arenas with at least a 10,000-seat capacity will be permitted to reopen at 10% capacity.”
12 percent: Red Sox
“Large venues” in Massachusetts were approved for “12% of normal capacity – that’s approximately 4,000 fans at Fenway Park” by Gov. Charlie Baker.
16 percent: Rays
The Rays were approved for 7,000 fans, which is about 16 percent of Tropicana Field capacity.
20 percent: Phillies, Pirates
This was approved by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.
25 percent: Diamondbacks, Braves, Rockies, Astros, Marlins, Brewers, Twins
Various local officials where these teams play approved 25 percent of capacity beginning Opening Day.
27 percent: Rangers
No specific number was quoted for the Rangers, but 11,000 fans attended the NLCS and World Series in 2020 at Globe Life Field. If the same number attend Rangers games this year, that would be 27 percent of capacity. The article notes: “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement that he’s phasing out restrictions and mask mandates could open the door to a greater percentage of capacity.”
30 percent: Reds, Indians, Royals
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine approved 30 percent in Cincinnati and Cleveland, and the Royals are “planning” on 30 percent, per the article.
32 percent: Cardinals
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Crewson, “in partnership” with the Cardinals, approved 32 percent capacity, or about 14,500 fans.
That leaves nine teams apart from the Cubs and White Sox.
The Mariners and Orioles are reported to be “in discussions” with local officials. The Blue Jays will again not be playing in Toronto to start the season. Instead, they’ll play at their spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida, with 15 percent capacity.
The Washington Nationals, “for now,” have been denied permission to have fans at Nationals Park.
Lastly, for the five California-based teams, the answer is “it’s complicated.” California is split into various colored pandemic “tiers.” Teams in counties in the “purple” tiers can have:
Outdoor sports will be limited to 100 people in the purple tier. The limits increase to 20% capacity in the red tier, 33% in the orange tier and 67% in the yellow tier.
Teams and event organizers can only sell tickets regionally in the purple tier. In the other tiers, teams and organizers can sell tickets to anyone living in California. No concessions will be allowed in the purple tier, while in others, concession sales will only be available at seats.
The only California-based team currently not in the purple tier is the Giants. who are planning 20 percent capacity (about 8,000). The other teams can’t do that at this time, but are hoping that by Opening Day they will be in the “red” tier and can also have 20 percent capacity.
As you can see above, the majority of teams appear to be in the 20-25 percent capacity range at this time. If the city of Chicago approves fans for the Cubs and White Sox, I would expect it to be in the 20 percent area. At Wrigley Field that would be about 8,000 fans.
They don’t have much time. Opening Day is 24 days away and much planning still needs to be done. Hopefully, a decision will come, one way or the other, soon.
As always, we await developments.
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