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Massachusetts OKs ballpark fans for 2021 season

Worcester Red SoxThe Boston Red Sox and the Worcester Red Sox (Triple-A East) have been cleared by Gov. Charlie Baker to host a limited number of fans for the 2021 season, as the teams implement COVID-19 mitigation plans.

Baker’s reopening plan calls for a 12 percent capacity limit at entertainment venues in Massachusetts–a conservative number, one of the lowest percentages we’ve seen emerge this spring, making no distinction between indoor and outdoor venues–which means outdoor venues like Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium are subject to the same limits as TD Garden.

That means the Red Sox can host around 4,000 fans at Fenway Park, while the WooSox can host 1,140 fans at the new Polar Park. In the case of Fenway Park, season-ticket holders will have first crack at single-game tickets. You can expect the usual mitigation standards in place: socially distanced pod seating, designated entrances, roped-off seating near player areas, no autographs, digital ticketing and contactless concessions.

“Today’s announcement by Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito outlining the Commonwealth’s timetable for entering Phase 4 in late March is a major step forward and a testament to the leadership of the state and our many health care partners working together,” said Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy in a press statement. “We thank the Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary Sudders, Secretary Kennealy, and all of the public officials whose hard work has helped get us to this important stage. We are eager to welcome our fans back to Fenway Park this season.” 

Interestingly, the Red Sox plan on offering Fenway Park to continue to operate as a mass vaccination site beyond the start of the regular season.

In Worcester, the history of Polar Park will open on a limited basis, and the WooSox are expected to offer the same sort of mitigation measures as the Red Sox: socially distanced pod seating, digital ticketing, roped-off seating near player areas, no autographs and contactless concessions.

“The WooSox continue to work closely with public health and government authorities regarding the pandemic precautions and temporary adjustments to ballpark capacity,” according to a statement issued by the team. “We will take our time and incorporate these new guidelines into our operational planning for April. Safety and cleanliness remain paramount priorities as we complete and open Polar Park.”

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