One day after the Sixers played in front of fans at home for the first time in more than a year, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has more good news surrounding live sports.
The governor announced Monday that Pennsylvania will be loosening attendance limits at events in early April, allowing 50% capacity at outdoor events and 25% capacity at indoor events as vaccination efforts continue to progress amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:
The news comes two weeks after the state and the city of Philadelphia announced fans would be allowed back at games with 20% capacity outdoors and 15% capacity indoors.
Moving so fast from the first return of fans to having half of Citizens Bank Park full in April is obviously a good sign.
"Pennsylvanians have stepped up and done their part of help curb the spread of COVID-19," Wolf said in a release Monday. "Our case counts continue to go down, hospitalizations are declining, and the percent positivity rate gets lower every week – all very positive signs. The number of people getting vaccinated increases daily and we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. It’s time to allow our restaurants, bars and other service businesses to get back to more normal operations."
Wolf also emphasized that while he hopes we can continue to progress towards normalcy, "now is not the time to stop the safety measures we have in place to protect ourselves, our families and our communities. Keep wearing a mask, social distancing, and, please, get vaccinated when it’s your turn."
The Phillies open the season April 1 at home against the Braves. They host the Braves on April 4, when the state's revised attendance policy goes into effect, but the team will need the city of Philadelphia to permit the same attendance levels before letting fans fill 50% of the stadium, and the same goes for Sixers and Flyers games.
NBC Philadelphia's Brandon Hudson has reached out to the city's Department of Health about Wolf's announcement:
Half of Citizens Bank Park's maximum capacity is 21,396, while 25% of the Wells Fargo Center's maximum capacity is 5,120.
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