When the 2021 MLB season gets underway next month, California's five teams could have fans in the stands to support them.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that he has "all the confidence in the world fans will be back safely in a lot of outdoor venues" by the time Opening Day rolls around on April 1.
Under current state guidelines, fans are not allowed at sporting events, according to 95.7 The Game.
According to Tom Tapp of Deadline, Newsom said the state was in "advanced conversations" with MLB and health officials in California to determine a plan to move forward with opening stadiums. He cited the state's 43 percent decrease in hospitalizations related to COVID-19 and a 42 percent reduction in ICU cases over the last two weeks.
California has been unwavering on its prohibition of fans at sporting events throughout the pandemic.
According to NBC Los Angeles, the state rejected two requests by the Tournament of Roses to allow fans into the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Rose Bowl, and the game was moved to Texas as a result.
But as baseball season approaches and vaccinations become available across the United States, decreased numbers of fans have been allowed into venues at spring training sites in Arizona and Florida, and Newsom's confidence for the regular season has been reflected from leadership nationwide.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she believes "there will be a point sometime this season where you'll see fans in the stands" at Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field (h/t CBS 2 Chicago). In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker announced large venues in the state can reopen at 12 percent capacity beginning March 22, which will allow roughly 4,000 fans into Fenway Park on Opening Day.
The Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres open the season at home on April 1. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants start the season on the road and open at home on April 9.