Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced today that the gathering restrictions that have been in place since the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in the state will be eased.
This is the part that matters to Bucs fans:
OUTDOOR EVENTS: Revised limits allow for 20% of maximum occupancy, no matter venue size.— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) March 1, 2021
Mask wearing, social distancing, and hand hygiene must be enforced. The 20% max occupancy is permitted ONLY if attendees/workers can keep 6 feet of physical distance between them.
Pirates president Travis Williams had this to say:
We would like to thank Governor Tom Wolf, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor Bill Peduto, as well as all of our state, county and local health officials, for their leadership as we navigate through so many unknowns during this pandemic.
All of us at the Pirates have worked extremely hard over the past year with our partners at AHN, Highmark and Major League Baseball to actively prepare for the safe and healthy return of fans to PNC Park. We are thrilled to be able to put those plans in action.
In the coming days, we will announce details around ticket availability, enhancements that have been made to PNC Park, as well as specifics around the fan experience. Most importantly, our fans’ health and safety will continue to be our top priority, and we will have a number of protocols in place to ensure we can all enjoy games at PNC Park in a safe and healthy manner.
Even though our capacity will be limited, Opening Day 2021 will truly be like no other. It will be much more than a game. It will mark a significant step in overcoming this pandemic. We cannot wait to open PNC Park and host our fans for a summer-long celebration of reconnecting with family and friends around Pirates baseball.
At 20% capacity, that means that roughly 7600 fans will be allowed in for games—I’m not sure if this count includes workers, so it might err a couple hundred on either side of that number. Also, tickets will most likely be made available to current season ticket holders first before the general public.
Of course, there have already been jokes on social media about the Bucs struggling to get even that many people in, as well as the anguished cries of OMG TOO SOON WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE and grumbles about the speed or lack thereof of the vaccine rollout. It’s not really a surprise, but it’s welcome news nevertheless.