The Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies have become the latest Major League Baseball (MLB) teams to detail plans to resume stadium operations at 100% capacity, while the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox are set to introduce dedicated sections for vaccinated fans as they seek to increase attendances.
Following last week’s announcement from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz outlining a three-step timeline to end nearly all state COVID-19 restrictions, the Twins have detailed their own multi-phased ramp up to full capacity for home games at Target Field, along with corresponding ticket details.
The Twins started the season at 25% capacity, but for the 12 home games scheduled between May 14-30, Target Field will operate at up to 60% capacity. For the club’s 12 home contests in June, there will be up to 80% capacity before, beginning on July 5, Target Field will have full capacity for the final 40 regular season home games of 2021.
Earlier this week, the Brewers announced that American Family Field would move from 25% to 50% capacity. The team has now said it will return to 100% capacity effective with games starting on June 25.
Pennsylvania and City of Philadelphia officials also outlined a reopening plan this week, which includes initial steps to ease capacity limits for large gatherings. The Phillies have now announced that effective immediately, they will be increasing their seating capacity to welcome more fans into Citizens Bank Park (pictured).
Due to the city’s current social-distancing guidelines being reduced from six to three feet, on May 21, the Phillies will increase seating capacity from 11,000 to 16,000 starting with the Boston Red Sox series and continuing with the series against the Washington Nationals (June 4-6) and Atlanta Braves (June 8-10).
Beginning on June 12, the first matchup of a two-game set against the New York Yankees, the seating capacity will increase to 100% for the remainder of the 2021 season. A limited number of seating pods will be available for fans who prefer to remain in a socially-distanced environment.
The three teams join Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals in detailing plans to move back to full capacity.
Meanwhile, approval from the State of Illinois and City of Chicago has seen the Cubs and White Sox outline plans to move to 60% capacity. For the Cubs, Wrigley Field’s capacity upgrade will go into effect for the three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds from May 28.
As the Cubs prepare to welcome additional fans back, the state and city are requiring a designated area specifically for fully vaccinated fans at Wrigley Field for the four-game series against the Washington Nationals only from May 17-20. The upper section of the centre field Budweiser Bleachers will be designated for fully vaccinated fans. This area will be sold at full capacity and seats will not be physically distanced.
The White Sox will increase capacity to 60% (approximately 24,300) at Guaranteed Rate Field beginning on May 24 versus the St. Louis Cardinals. The White Sox will also feature two vaccinated-only sections for four games this weekend.
Tickets for games at Guaranteed Rate Field starting on May 24 through June 16 will be offered in seating pods with an open seat between pods within the same row. The White Sox will also offer two vaccination sites for fans located at Guaranteed Rate Field. Every fan who receives a vaccination before a game will receive a $25 (£18/€21) White Sox gift card for use inside the ballpark.
Image: Ian D’Andrea/CC BY-SA 2.0/Edited for size