Chicago Cubs, White Sox allowing fans this season

Despite the development of the pandemic last spring, the MLB was able to squeeze in a shortened season. But something was obviously missing. There was no roar from a crowd when a home run was hit. There were no lines of people waiting to get hotdogs or to scan their tickets. There were no fans. 

In 2020, both Sox and Cubs players had to adjust to having no fans and having the awkward fake crowd noise blown through the speakers. But this year the energy will be brought back—well only 20% of it, but hey it’s a start. 

“Nothing can replace the energy and enthusiasm our beloved fans bring to the Friendly Confines each and every game,” said Cubs executive chairman Tom Ricketts to ESPN. “We’re ready and excited for our much-anticipated Wrigley Field reunion.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently announced that fans can attend games at Guaranteed Rate Field and Wrigley Field in reduced numbers this season. They will start the season with 20% capacity in hopes that that number will grow as the season progresses. 

“As a die-hard sports fan myself,” Lightfoot said to ESPN. “I’m personally excited to have Chicago take its first, cautious steps toward safely reopening our beloved baseball stadiums to fans this season.”

According to Lightfoot, both of the baseball franchises have been working closely with Chicago’s public health officials to find solutions that are safe for all. 

Both parks will be following safety protocols such as masks and socially distanced seating. 

The Cubs have their first home game on April 1 against the Pirates, and the Sox will play their first at Guaranteed Rate Field against the Royals on April 8.

“We believe this is a moment when baseball can indeed serve our fans and our communities again as we all hope for a gradual return to normal,” said Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the White Sox to ESPN.

Fans are currently attending spring training games in Arizona and Florida, allowing teams to get a taste of having a crowd back. Ultimately, optimism is sure to be high for opening day and beyond.