A number of Major League Baseball teams have announced plans to open their ballparks at full capacity in the coming weeks, while the San Francisco 49ers intend to operate Levi’s Stadium without restrictions when the new NFL season gets underway in September.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins and Cleveland Indians have become the latest MLB teams to signal their intention to move to 100% capacity. Only a handful of MLB teams are yet to do so as COVID-19 infection rates fall in the US with the vaccination roll-out continuing apace.
The Dodgers will open Dodger Stadium (pictured) at full capacity on June 15, while cross-city rivals the Angels will open Angel Stadium without restrictions two days later. Until then, the two teams will continue to adhere to California’s health protocols, with socially distanced seating pods and 25% capacity.
Elsewhere in California, the Padres have announced plans to open Petco Park at 100% capacity from June 17. In association with stadium sponsor Petco, the health and wellness company for pets, the Padres will celebrate the opening day by hosting and honouring local frontline workers.
The Orioles, meanwhile, have announced that Oriole Park will be restriction-free from June 1, although the team will continue to offer pod seating in select sections for fans that would still like the opportunity to physically distance from others.
Elsewhere, the Tigers are set to open Comerica Park at full capacity from June 8, while the Marlins will lift restrictions at loanDepot Park on July 5. The Indians plan on opening Progressive Field at full capacity from June 2.
Other MLB teams that are either currently operating without restrictions or intend to do so in the coming weeks are the Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds.
Meanwhile, 49ers president Al Guido has said that the team will return to full capacity at Levi’s Stadium from next season. The 49ers were one of several NFL teams to play the entirety of the 2020 campaign without fans due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The 49ers’ first regular-season home game will be against the Green Bay Packers on September 26, with the team’s first pre-season game at Levi’s Stadium to be against the Kansas City Chiefs on August 14.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has previously said that he expects all stadiums to open at full capacity next season as the COVID-19 situation in the US continues to ease. Levi’s Stadium has a capacity of around 68,500.