As the Yankees take the field on April 1, starting the 2021 regular season, there will be a significant number of fans in the stands.
New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday afternoon that both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field will have 20 percent capacity beginning on April 1.
The Yankees open their season on the first day of the month, hosting the Toronto Blue Jays in the Bronx. The Mets won't play their first home game until April 8, when the Miami Marlins come to town.
“The entire Yankees organization — and especially our players on the field — feed off the energy that our loyal and dedicated fans bring to Yankee Stadium,” said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner in a statement released by the team. “Our fans have made our home a preeminent worldwide attraction, and their excitement is the catalyst for the championship goals we set every season. We are thrilled to be able to have them back in 2021 and promise them the highest standards for health and safety this season and beyond."
Specifically for the Yankees, limited capacity games currently include the first 11 home games of the regular season (from April 1 through April 21).
“We are heartened by the Governor’s decision to allow us to begin the season at Yankee Stadium with a 20% capacity and offer our deep appreciation for his office’s diligent work and guidance," Steinbrenner said. "This will be a very special year in the Bronx, and we will continue to work together with the State of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City of New York, Major League Baseball, and other health and safety experts to utilize the best and most responsible practices in our facility. We are fully committed to providing a world-class experience at Yankee Stadium in every respect.”
Testing for COVID-19 will be required when these stadiums open as an additional precaution. Further, temperature checks, face coverings, physical distancing, cashless transactions and mobile ticketing will all be part of the new norm as fans return to the ballpark.
Those that have already receiver their vaccine will have access to these ballparks once the season begins.
With 20 percent capacity, Yankee Stadium will welcome as many as 10,850 fans in April while the Mets can host 8,384, per Cuomo.
The Governor went on to explain that the number of fans will eventually increase as the season progresses and once the city can conduct contract tracing, evaluating how safe and secure these figures are during this pandemic.
"I think we're going to see the capacity increase and the testing requirements decrease as we get more evidence," Cuomo said. "We want to start safe and smart."
Fans weren't allowed to enter big-league ballparks during last year's coronavirus-shortened campaign. Now, rather than crowd noise filling eerily empty venues in New York City, fans will be cheering on their favorite teams as they look to embark on a deep postseason run later this fall.
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