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Chicago baseball fans can return to ballparks beginning in April, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday.
Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, and Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, can open at 20% capacity on Opening Day.
“As a diehard sports fan myself, I’m personally excited to have Chicago take its first, cautious step toward safely reopening our beloved baseball stadiums to fans this season,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
Both teams and Major League Baseball have implemented a number of measures designed to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Ballpark entry will occur with minimum contact while concession stands and retail stores in the ballparks will be cashless, among other things. Anyone entering the parks, including players and media, will be subject to comprehensive screening and sanitation procedures.
Opening Day for the Cubs is April 1. Wrigley Field has a normal capacity of 41,374, meaning 8,274 fans will be allowed to attend each game in the initial reopening stage. Rooftop seating adjacent to the ballpark will also be allowed to reopen with social-distancing guidelines.
“The return of our fans is incredibly meaningful to our players, our City and the game we all love,” said Cubs Executive Chairman Tom Ricketts.
The White Sox begin the season on the road and play their first home game on April 8. Guaranteed Rate Field has a capacity of just over 40,615, meaning 8,122 fans will be permitted to enter the ballpark for each game.
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“We believe this is a moment when baseball can indeed serve our fans and our communities again as we all hope for a gradual return to normal,” said White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
The Cubs and White Sox will continue to work closely with public health officials to “find solutions that are not only safe, but offer a path forward toward safely increasing stadium capacity” as the COVID-19 recovery progresses, Lightfoot said.
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