Fans in stands would be ‘great way to start the season’ for Joe Girardi 


Joe Girardi has never managed a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park with fans in the stands.

It looks like he will in the coming season, his second with the club.

City of Philadelphia health commissioner Thomas Farley on Tuesday said it was “likely” that some fans would be permitted in the stands when the Phillies open their season at home against Atlanta on April 1.

Girardi was thrilled to hear that news.

“I would love it and I think our players are going to love it and I think our players are longing for it,” Girardi said from spring training in Clearwater, Florida.

“As much as we love to play, we also love to play in front of fans that are passionate like the Philadelphia Phillies fans are and I’m really looking forward to it. We’re all looking forward to it.

“That would be a great way to start the season.”

Farley would not put a number on how many fans would be allowed in the 42,792-seat ballpark. Surely, it would be a fraction of that number, but any amount of fans represents a step in the right direction and the number could grow as the season goes on and the COVID-19 pandemic becomes more controlled through vaccinations.

According to Farley, the state will also have input in how many fans are allowed in the ballpark at the start of the season.

Girardi was named Phillies manager in October 2019. He has managed in front of fans at Citizens Bank Park, but only as the opposing skipper of the Florida Marlins and New York Yankees. His Yankees team played against the Phillies — and beat them — in the 2009 World Series.


In addition to the Phillies, the Flyers and Sixers could also see some fans allowed into their games in the coming weeks.

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