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Maryland governor lifts capacity restrictions; Orioles plan for fans in the stands

Oriole Park at Camden Yards 2019

With Gov. Larry Hogan moving to allow large Maryland venues to open at 50 percent capacity, the Baltimore Orioles are working with local officials on an Oriole Park at Camden Yards 2021 fan plan.

The decision by the Republican governor comes after declining coronavirus rates in the state as well as improved vaccination distribution. The decision to life some capacity restrictions by Hogan applies to venues, retail, bars and restaurants. From the Baltimore Sun:

“The most important thing is we kept the masking orders fully in place and the distancing requirements fully in place,” Hogan said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon. “Many states have not done that and, I think, acted a little more rapidly to get rid of all the mitigation efforts.

“We chose not to do that. Lifting capacity limits while still maintaining all those orders, we think, is a safer approach.”

Here’s the statement from the Orioles:

As always, the health and safety of our entire Birdland community remains our top priority. In accordance with Governor Hogan’s announcement yesterday, we are continuing to work with the City of Baltimore, state officials, and Major League Baseball to safely welcome fans back to Oriole Park at Camden Yards with proper social distancing guidelines. As soon as we are able, we will share our plans to re-open along with our Gameday Health & Safety protocols.

There is one potential roadblock here: Hogan’s order leaves local governments with the ability to decide their own capacity limitations. So it’s possible Baltimore City officials may decide to limit capacity lower than the 50 percent mark or perhaps even deny fans into the ballpark at all.

The Orioles open at Oriole Park on April 8 against the Boston Red Sox.

UPDATED: Which MLB ballparks are hosting fans in 2021? Here’s the list

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