There will be baseball fans in the seats when the Yankees take the field on Opening Day this Thursday, April 1 and the Mets host their first home game a week later on April 8.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that baseball stadiums will allow fans in the stadium for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Professional sports in large outdoor stadiums that hold 10,000 people or more will be allowed to reopen at 20 percent capacity.
Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and will be subject to strict state guidance on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.
The state Department of Health will re-evaluate the testing and vaccination entry requirements in May, and if the public health situation continues to improve, they may be discontinued by mid-May.
Vaccinations will continue to be administered at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field during the baseball season, the governor said.
“New Yorkers love to root for the home team, and it was especially difficult to see great professional sports teams close down as we implemented restrictions necessary to protect the public health,” Cuomo said. “As New York’s COVID situation improves, we’re giving New Yorkers the opportunity to cheer on the Yankees and Mets in person as long as they stay safe.
Each venue that is reopening must first obtain Health Department approval, institute and enforce a 20 percent capacity limit, ensure spectators and event staff present proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination.
Fans must wear face coverings at all times, practice social distancing, and submit to temperature checks. Additionally, contact information will be collected from all those in attendance to help inform contact tracing efforts if there is a need.
This model was tested earlier this year for two Buffalo Bills playoff games in Orchard Park, with no major problems.
Cuomo also announced that smaller, regional sports venues that hold 1,500 people indoors or 2,500 people outdoors can also reopen, beginning April 1. Initial capacity will be limited to 10 percent indoors and 20 percent outdoors.
Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to strict state guidance on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.
Steve Cohen is in his first year as the Mets owner, and said he cannot wait to have fans back at Citi Field.
“We’re really excited about the season ahead and welcoming the best fans in baseball back — safely — to Citi Field,” Cohen said.
The Steinbrenner Family is also grateful that fans can see the Yankees on 161st Street.
“The entire Yankees organization — and especially our players on the field — feed off the energy that our loyal and dedicated fans bring to Yankee Stadium,” said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner. “Our fans have made our home a preeminent worldwide attraction, and their excitement is the catalyst for the championship goals we set every season. We are thrilled to be able to have them back in 2021 and promise them the highest standards for health and safety this season and beyond.”