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Pennsylvania modifies COVID-19 rules to allow 20 percent capacity at ballparks

Pittsburgh PiratesPennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled revised COVID-19 limitations for venues of all sizes, allowing 20 percent of capacity at MLB and MiLB ballparks at the beginning of the 2021 season.

The new guidelines call for capacities at indoor venues of all sizes limited to 15 percent, and outdoor venues of all size limited to 20 percent. The decision immediately applies to MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies as well as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A East), whose seasons all launch in April. With AA and A leagues launching in early May, as well as the MLB Draft League and MLB Partner League later in the month, it remains to be seen how long the 20 percent capacity will be in place or increased as the season wears on.

And, of course, the new restrictions are subject to teams filing COVID-19 mitigation plan detailing seating arrangements and sanitization plans.

Here’s the governor’s announcement:

The Pirates and Travis Williams issued the following statement:

We would like to thank Governor Tom Wolf, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor Bill Peduto, as well as all of our state, county and local health officials, for their leadership as we navigate through so many unknowns during this pandemic.

All of us at the Pirates have worked extremely hard over the past year with our partners at AHN, Highmark and Major League Baseball to actively prepare for the safe and healthy return of fans to PNC Park. We are thrilled to be able to put those plans in action.

In the coming days, we will announce details around ticket availability, enhancements that have been made to PNC Park, as well as specifics around the fan experience. Most importantly, our fans’ health and safety will continue to be our top priority, and we will have a number of protocols in place to ensure we can all enjoy games at PNC Park in a safe and healthy manner.

Even though our capacity will be limited, Opening Day 2021 will truly be like no other. It will be much more than a game. It will mark a significant step in overcoming this pandemic. We cannot wait to open PNC Park and host our fans for a summer-long celebration of reconnecting with family and friends around Pirates baseball.

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