The Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins are increasing seating capacity with an eye toward full stadiums in the coming weeks.
In Philadelphia, social-distancing guidelines have been reduced from six feet to three, and on May 21, the capacity at Citizens Bank Park will be increased from 11,000 to 16,000, the Phillies said Thursday.
On June 12, when the Phillies will host the New York Yankees, capacity will be increased to 100 percent for the rest of the season, and tailgating will be permitted.
In Minneapolis, the Twins also are preparing for an increase in the number of fans at Target Field.
For the 12 home games scheduled between May 14-30, the stadium can operate at up to 60 percent capacity, the team said. For the 12 home games in June, that number will go up to 80 percent, and beginning July 5, Target will move to full capacity for the remaining 40 home games of the regular season.
It was welcome news in both cities.
“This is a very exciting time in the City of Philadelphia as we begin to return to some sense of normalcy,” said David Buck, the Phillies executive vice president. “There is nothing better than the energy and enthusiasm that Phillies fans bring to Citizens Bank Park. We look forward to welcoming even more fans back to enjoy the ballpark experience.”
Dave St. Peter, the Twins president, and CEO agreed.
“Our fans are what makes baseball great, as they truly transform Target Field into our home ballpark, and a day or evening at the Twins game into lifelong memories,” he said. “To that end, we are grateful that our state and region continue to be on a path toward improved health and a return to normalcy, and we are absolutely thrilled to begin our measured, responsible and safe ramp up to 100 percent capacity at the ballpark.”
Fans at both ballparks will be required to wear face coverings. Both the Phillies and Twins are making available a limited number of socially distanced seats for fans who prefer to sit apart from others.
Major-league teams played without fans during the regular season in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.