After a decision from state politicians banning large gatherings through September, the Boston Red Sox aren’t expecting to welcome fans to Fenway Park this season, according to team president Sam Kennedy.
The decision, as relayed by Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, applies to all sports teams in the state, including New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Red Sox front office had been holding out hope that some number of fans be allowed to games this year, but with the last Fenway Park game of 2020 scheduled for Sept. 24, the decision pretty much sealed the team’s fate. From the Boston Globe:
“Since the start of the Pandemic we have been in constant communication with Gov. (Charlie) Baker, Lt Gov. Polito, Mayor (Marty) Walsh and Major League Baseball regarding safety protocols at Fenway Park,” Kennedy wrote in an email. “We have been informed by Lt. Gov. Polito that the State is not yet in a position to allow fans to return to Fenway, at least through the month of September.
“While we were hopeful fans would be able to return to Fenway at some point this season, we agree that now is not the right time, given the state of the virus around the country. We remain grateful to our local officials for their leadership and guidance, and appreciate the ongoing support of our fans throughout this difficult period.”
Several teams, including the Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies have pushed to allow fans in the stands and have filed plans with local authorities and with MLB. But so far many local officials have been resistant to reopening plans no matter what the merits, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred doesn’t sound too eager to pursue fans in the stands as well:
MLB not ready to open its parks to fans. A league spokesperson says, “Given the state of the virus throughout the country and that most of our clubs do not have authorization from their local jurisdictions allowing for it, we are not able to consider hosting fans at this time.”
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 17, 2020
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