The Cubs and White Sox announced they will increase fan capacity at their stadiums to 60% this month.
As the city continues to lessen coronavirus restrictions, the Sox will increase capacity to approximately 24,300 fans at Guaranteed Rate Field beginning May 24 against the Cardinals. The stadium can normally accommodate 40,615 fans.
Approval from city and state leadership and public health officials provided the green light. The increase comes as teams around MLB have already begun to increase crowd sizes, including some ballparks already maxing out at 100% capacity.
The Cubs will begin at 60% capacity — or about 25,000 fans — at Wrigley Field on May 28 against the Reds. Wrigley’s normal capacity is over 41,000.
“We have been working toward this moment and have always looked forward to welcoming more fans back to Guaranteed Rate Field in a safe and responsible way,” said Brooks Boyer, the White Sox chief revenue and marketing officer.
“The team has been a lot of fun to watch. Our crowds, even at lower capacity have been massively energetic, and we just can’t wait to get a bigger group of people.”
The Sox will have two vaccinated-only sections for four games this weekend. Beginning with Game 1 of the doubleheader Friday against the Royals, fans who purchase tickets in the designated vaccinated-only sections located in Sections 108-109 will present their vaccination cards or other proof that they have been fully vaccinated along with a photo ID upon entering the ballpark.
Fans holding tickets in these sections will be seated without physical distancing.
Fans who receive a vaccination before a game will receive a $25 White Sox gift card for use inside the ballpark. The team will have two vaccination sites at the stadium beginning May 24.
Tickets for the vaccinated-only sections went on sale at 3 p.m. Thursday on the Sox’ website.
Cubs single-game tickets for the May 28-June 2 games will go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday on the team’s website. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis in seating pods of up to six people and will have a minimum of one open seat between pods within the same row.
Like the Sox, the Cubs will have a designated area specifically for fully vaccinated fans at Wrigley Field for the four-game series May 17-20 against the Nationals. The upper section of the center-field Budweiser Bleachers will be designated for fully vaccinated fans and will be at full capacity with no physical distancing. Single-game tickets for that area also went on sale at 3 p.m. Thursday. Proof of vaccination and a photo ID are required.
Meanwhile, the Fire announced they will be expanding capacity to around 12,500 at Soldier Field for their May 22 and May 29 home matches, offering increased but socially distanced seating in the 100 and 200 levels and select parts of the 300 level of the stadium. In a statement, the Fire said “as the season progresses, we will make further adjustments as new guidance emerges.”
Contributing: Brian Sandalow