Several more Major League Baseball teams have detailed plans to open their ballparks at full capacity as restrictions continue to ease in the US.
The Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals will lift capacity limits in the coming days and weeks as COVID-19 infection rates fall and the vaccination roll-out continues across the country.
The Astros will begin opening Minute Maid Park at full capacity from May 25, when the team hosts the Los Angeles Dodgers. Fans who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear masks but supporters who are not fully vaccinated will be encouraged to do so.
The Royals’ Kauffman Stadium will open without capacity limits from May 31 for the visit of the Pirates. Mask wearing will not be required for vaccinated fans but a number of health and safety protocols will remain in place, including mobile ticketing, cashless concessions and restrictions on bags and outside food.
The Pirates have also detailed plans to open PNC Park (pictured) at full capacity by July 1, with the club to take steps over the coming weeks to begin easing restrictions throughout the ballpark. All 12 home games from June 3-23 will operate with three-foot social distancing between seating allotments, with capacity to be around 55%.
The Cardinals plan on expanding to full capacity at Busch Stadium from June 14 for the game against the Miami Marlins. In the meantime, the Cardinals will continue using seating pods spaced a minimum of three feet apart, with mask wearing to remain a requirement for non-vaccinated fans and mobile ticketing and cashless transactions to be in place.
The Nationals, meanwhile, will move to 100% capacity at Nationals Park from the June 10 game against the San Francisco Giants. The move comes after Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced last week that capacity limits would be lifted from next month.
Earlier this week, the Boston Red Sox detailed plans to reopen Fenway Park at full capacity from May 29 after restrictions were lifted in the state of Massachusetts. The Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves are already operating at full capacity, while the Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds have detailed plans to do so in the coming weeks.
New York’s two MLB teams, the Yankees and the Mets, are also able to open their ballparks at full capacity, but only with dedicated sections for vaccinated fans.