After opening the gates of Nationals Park to 5,000 fans each game during the first homestead of the season, the Nationals will begin hosting roughly 10,000 fans starting April 15.
On Friday, the office of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser approved the team's waiver to increase stadium capacity from 10% to 25%, another major step as vaccines continue to roll out and health officials continue to work with professional teams to expand the capacity limit at a safe pace.
The Nationals' three-game series against the Braves opened the 2021 MLB campaign, albeit with delay after a coronavirus outbreak placed a large portion of Washington's roster into quarantine. But eventually, players and fans were able to reunite at Nationals Park for the first time in nearly two years.
While any number of fans was a welcome sight for the organization, Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer expressed a desire to have even more fans in the stands on Tuesday, citing a completely empty upper deck.
Scherzer and the rest of the Nationals organization were likely pleased with the decision made by the Mayor's office on Friday. The team released a statement following the decision:
“We are excited to welcome even more of our fans back to Nationals Park starting next Thursday when we take on the Arizona Diamondbacks. As the vaccination rate increases across the region, we look forward to welcoming more fans in the future."
The Nationals are set to return to Nationals Park on April 15 to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks after they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals in two road series.