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Cubs receive permission to increase Wrigley capacity to 60 percent beginning May 28

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Things are getting closer to being back to normal at the ballpark.

Wrigley Field on April 25, 2021
Al Yellon

For the first 21 games played at Wrigley Field this year, the Cubs have been limited to 25 percent capacity, or 10,343.

Following approval from the State of Illinois and City of Chicago, the Cubs announced Thursday that the team is approved to host up to 60 percent of Wrigley Field’s capacity which will go into effect when the Cubs begin their three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds May 28.

Based on the current capacity numbers, that will mean the Cubs can sell up to 24,823 tickets for games beginning Friday, May 28. Here’s how you can get yours.

Newly released single game tickets for the May 28-June 2 games will go on sale to the general public Tuesday, May 18, at 10 a.m. CT at cubs.com. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis in seating pods of up to six people and will have a minimum of one open seat between pods within the same row. Tickets for these six games had previously been sold to season-ticket holders last month.

The Cubs are also giving an opportunity to buy tickets for those games through the Return to Wrigley Presale Access Program, a presale opportunity for fans to register for random drawings to win a chance to purchase tickets. You can sign up by filling out an online registration form at cubs.com/tickets. Winners will be chosen at random and notified of the opportunity to purchase a limited number of tickets. You are limited to one entry per email address and there is no cost to register. The deadline to register for the presale opportunity for May 28-June 2 is tomorrow, Friday, May 14, at 11:59 p.m. CT.

As the Cubs prepare to welcome additional fans back to the ballpark, the State of Illinois and City of Chicago are creating a designated area specifically for fully vaccinated fans at Wrigley Field for the Cubs four-game series against the Washington Nationals May 17-20 only. The upper section of the center field bleachers will be designated for fully vaccinated fans. This area will be sold at full capacity and seats will not be physically distanced. Single game tickets located in this area will go on sale today, Thursday, May 13, at 3 p.m. CDT. All tickets in the fully vaccinated area will be $20 (plus applicable taxes and fees). Those who purchase these tickets will be required to present proof of vaccination and a photo ID. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the “Fully Vaccinated Area” page at cubs.com.

The Cubs want to remind you that the health and safety protocols enacted at the start of the regular season will remain in place until further notice. Face coverings will still be required for guests two years or older unless actively eating or drinking while seated, even in the fully vaccinated area, Tickets will be made available exclusively as mobile tickets through the MLB Ballpark app and all purchases at Wrigley Field will remain cashless. For additional information on the club’s COVID-19 guidelines and what to know before heading to Wrigley Field, please visit the team’s Wrigley Field COVID-19 safety page.

The Cubs have sold 216,802 tickets for the first 21 games of 2021, or 10,324 per game. Eighteen of the 24 games have been sellouts. Presuming the Cubs sell up to the 24,823 now allowed for the six games upcoming at the end of May, that would be 148,938 more tickets. Add those to the 41,372 allowed for the four games in the Nationals series (could be more depending on how many are sold for that fully vaccinated section), that would be a total of approximately 407,112 tickets sold for the first 31 home games, an average of 13,133 per dats.

The Cubs say they hope to increase capacity further later in the season pending approvals from the State of Illinois and City of Chicago. If they can get back to full capacity by the time the homestand scheduled to begin June 11, they could conceivably sell about 38,000 tickets for each of the remaining 50 home dates, or approximately 1.9 million tickets. This number would, of course, be lower if that approval doesn’t come until July. After the May 28-June 2 homestand ends, the Cubs have just seven other home dates in June.

So, my estimate of the total number of tickets the Cubs could sell this year is somewhere between 2.1 million and 2.3 million, although presumably many of those would go to season-ticket holders, some of whom (myself included) have already paid, leaving our deposits on account with the Cubs in exchange for a five percent bonus paid last year.

That’s where things stand and how I see it going forward for fans at Wrigley Field this year as life slowly begins to return to post-pandemic normal.

As always, we await developments.