Yankees, Mets Able to Host Fans at 20% Capacity Starting on April 1

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2021

People line up at a COVID-19 vaccination site at Yankee Stadium, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. Yankee Stadium opened as a COVID-19 vaccination site Friday, drawing lines of people from surrounding neighborhoods in the Bronx. The mega-site is being restricted to Bronx residents as a way to boost vaccination rates in the New York City borough with the highest percentage of positive coronavirus test results. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday the state's MLB teams, the Mets and Yankees, can host fans at 20 percent stadium capacity to open the 2021 season:  

Andrew Cuomo @NYGovCuomo

Baseball is coming back! The @Yankees & @Mets will start the baseball season with fans in the stands. Professional sports in large outdoor stadiums can reopen at 20% capacity beginning 4/1. Attendees must show proof of vaccination or negative test & follow strict guidelines. https://t.co/abSQzi2otR

The Yankees released a statement that included guidelines fans will have to follow to attend a game, which includes proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result:

New York Yankees @Yankees

The New York Yankees, in conjunction with New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health, today announced that Yankee Stadium would open to a 20% capacity to start the 2021 regular season. Please go to https://t.co/IdzDGMRO1R for more info. https://t.co/E2Rg1dXDK3

Yankee Stadium has a seating capacity of 52,325, so the American League East club is cleared to welcome around 10,465 fans beginning April 1 when it opens the season against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Citi Field checks in with a 41,922 capacity, which equates to about 8,384 fans at 20 percent. The Mets start the campaign with two straight road series before returning home to face the Miami Marlins on April 8.

"We're going to play ball, and we're going to play ball with a crowd," Cuomo told reporters during a press conference with former MLB pitchers Al Leiter and CC Sabathia.

New York's Governor also lifted a ban on statewide travel for sporting events, a decision mostly targeted toward the resumption of youth sport tournaments, and he said the trajectory is promising as vaccination efforts continue to lessen the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"All indicators are good," Cuomo said. "You're going to see increased capacity and more flexibility across the board going forward."

MLB is allowing individual teams to set their own attendance targets for the 2021 season based on state and local COVID-19 guidelines.

The Texas Rangers announced they're planning to allow a 100 percent capacity crowd of 40,300 at Globe Life Field when they begin their home schedule against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 5.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays confirmed they'll open the season at the Spring Training complex in Florida because of continued travel restrictions between the United States and Canada.

MLB, which played a shortened 60-game season in 2020, is expecting to complete a full 162-game schedule this season.