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We could see larger ballpark crowds by end of spring: Fauci

Major League BaseballGood news for anyone in pro baseball or summer-collegiate ball: Dr. Anthony Fauci says we could see larger crowds at ballparks by late spring or early summer if vaccination trends continue.

Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, Fauci warned that relaxed attitudes toward COVID mitigation has led to a small spike in infection rates across the country. Longer term, however, Fauci (Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) sees the continued rise in vaccinations leading to lower infection rates–and that in term will lead to local and state governments relaxing capacity restrictions over time. Many states and county revisit capacity restrictions on a monthly basis; while current spike in infection rates may not lead to many large-scale changes in April, the hope is that higher vaccinations rates will have enough of an impact by May.

“I would expect that as we get through the summer–late spring, early summer–there’s going to be a relaxation where you’re going to have more and more people allowed into baseball parks, very likely separated with seating, very likely continue to wear masks,” he said on today’s broadcast.

Right now every MLB team is operating with some sort of capacity cap–we have compiled them here–but teams limited ticket sales to just the first portion of the year. A few MiLB teams have announced ticket-sales plans, but with that season launching in May, there’s more time to finalize plans.]

RELATED STORIES: More MLB teams approved for additional capacity to begin season; Nationals to host 5,000 fans on Opening Day; Orioles to host 11,000 fans per game to begin season; Braves green-lit to host 13,500 fans at Truist Park to begin 2021 MLB season; Twins cleared for 10,000 fans at Target Field; Mariners cleared for fans at T-Mobile Park; Maryland governor lifts capacity restrictions; Orioles plan for fans in the stands; Rangers to open 2021 MLB season at full capacity; Colorado clears Coors Field for added capacity; Cubs, White Sox cleared to host fans this season; California MLB teams cleared for fans in the stands; Cards, Brewers cleared to host fans in 2021; MLB teams still waiting clearance for fans; Pennsylvania modifies COVID-19 rules to allow 20 percent capacity at ballparks; Coors Field fans cleared for Rockies gamesMassachusetts OKs ballpark fans for 2021 seasonOhio looks at allowing 30 percent capacity at MLB, MiLB ballparksBrewers plan for fans at renamed ballpark in 2021Blue Jays may displace Bisons in BuffaloBlue Jays to begin 2021 MLB season in Dunedin’s TD BallparkMarlins to pursue WELL Health-Safety Rating, fans in the standsYankee Stadium, Citi Field cleared to host fans this season

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