As the spread of COVID-19 in Chicago has lowered, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on March 8 that Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field will be welcoming fans for Opening Day this year for the Cubs and Sox games.
After not allowing fans for last year’s season due to the pandemic, the stadiums will be open at 20 percent limited capacity for the start of the season.
“As a diehard sports fan myself, I’m personally excited to have Chicago take its first, cautious steps toward safely reopening our beloved baseball stadiums to fans this season,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “We’re able to do that thanks to the commitment of our city’s two great baseball franchises who continue to work in close partnership with Chicago’s public health officials to find solutions that are not only safe, but offer a path forward toward safely increasing stadium capacity as we move closer into our COVID-19 recovery.”
Ella Lane ‘21 said decision to reopen the stadiums was premature, considering the uncertainty of the pandemic.
“When I initially heard it [the reopening plan], I thought that it was maybe a bit premature considering the vaccine rollout plan isn’t set in stone. We don’t know how many people will be immune to the virus by that time.” said Lane.
Amanda Fanale ‘21, an avid Cubs fan, won’t be attending games herself, but is eager to see actual fans in the Wrigley Field stands again. She believes that seeing fans brings more liveliness to the game.
“I think that going to in-person games and seeing other fans is what makes baseball fun to watch,” said Fanale.
These re-openings are leading to speculations about whether other large scale events, such as the Taste of Chicago or Lollapalooza, have a chance of taking place. Ely Saldana ‘22 believes that the stadiums’ re-openings encourage other large scale events to start opening back up.
“I think others might be more encouraged to host large scale events. But then again, it’s too early to start making these decisions,” said Saldana. “It has to be assessed on a case by case basis and people need to continue wearing masks in any circumstance.”