Cubs And Sox Could Shut Down Parks If COVID Numbers Keep Rising
It looks like one "normal" thing we were about to get to do again might be taken away if COVID numbers continue to surge.
It was just a month ago that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that both Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field would be approved to hold 20% capacity worth of fans, about 8,000 for each ballpark, when the season opened on April 1st. Then even better news was released when that number was bumped up to 25%. It looked like baseball games in Chicago would start to look semi-normal again.
Then this latest surge of COVID-19 cases started growing over the past week and now it looks like the city might be moving back to empty ballparks for the time being.
NBCChicago - ... city officials warned that they may again shut the ballpark(s) to fans if the number of COVID-19 cases keep climbing.
Mayor Lightfoot is especially concerned with Wrigleyville and the bars that surround the park.
That's where we're seeing the increase and we're seeing it in the 18-to-39-year-old cohort across different races...We're concerned.
The bars around Wrigleyville are supposed to be operating at 50% capacity but city officials aren't sure how closely those mitigation efforts are being enforced. I, personally, have not been to Wrigleyville recently but do know how they operate. It's almost certain that if the city isn't enforcing any sort of adherence to the 50% rule, the bars are not abiding by it.
No one has offered any concrete numbers on what would trigger a shutdown so this might all be a bluff to get people stay cautious but who knows when you're talking about Chicago.
The season starts for both teams on Thursday, April 1st. The Cubs are at home and will be hosting fans. Will the White Sox get to play in front of fans next week when they return to Chicago? That remains to be seen.
KEEP READING: See how sports around the world have been impacted by the coronavirus