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Wrigley Field will open to full capacity next Friday, June 11

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Just in time for a big series against the Cardinals.

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a long time since Wrigley Field has been full as shown in the 2019 photo above. The last near-capacity house was 38,606 on a rainy Sunday, September 22, 2019, the final home game of that season — don’t click on the boxscore link, you really don’t want to re-live that game.

That game was against the Cardinals. Fittingly, then, the re-opening of Wrigley Field to full capacity will be against the same team, the Cubs’ biggest rivals, a week from today, Friday, June 11, following the lifting of pandemic restrictions in the city of Chicago. As you can see at that link, that news broke yesterday, but I wanted to wait until I had full information before posting about it here. Now, I have that information, so here are more details on Wrigley’s full reopening.

Early this morning, tickets began to populate in the MLB Ballpark app for Cubs season-ticket holders, including me.

Single game tickets for all home games through the remainder of the regular season will go on sale to the general public tomorrow, Saturday, June 5, at 2 p.m. CT, at www.cubs.com.

As part of the move to Phase 5, the club is amending its health and safety protocols. Outdoor and indoor capacity restrictions will be lifted, physical distancing will no longer be required in the ballpark and pod-style seating will be eliminated. To support full capacity, gates will open two hours before first pitch, Cubs season-ticket holders will return to their season ticket seat location and the bleachers will return to general admission. The ballpark’s touchless entry process and bag restrictions implemented at the start of the regular season will remain in place as well as mobile tickets and cashless concessions and retail.

Here are some ticket numbers for your perusal.

In the last full season, 2019, the Cubs sold 3,094,865 tickets, an average of 38,208 per game. To date in 2021, for the 31 home games played, the Cubs have sold 400,657 tickets, an average of 12,924 per game. That 2021 average currently ranks eighth among all MLB teams.

If the Cubs sell 38,208 tickets per game for the 50 home games remaining on the schedule, that would be 1,910,400 tickets sold, for a total of 2,311,057 for the year. Of course, that number could be a bit higher or lower depending on factors like pricing, weather and team performance. But figure the Cubs will finish up at about 2.3 million tickets sold for 2021. That’s a decent number, though still down about 25 percent from 2019. The last time Cubs attendance was around that number was 1997, when they sold 2,190,318 tickets, just before the Sosa/McGwire home-run chase and the 1998 wild-card race helped boost crowds at Wrigley, something that wound up sustained all the way through 2019.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer and to some enjoyable baseball at Wrigley Field, and hopefully a Cubs return to the postseason.