According to News 4’s Mark Segraves, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser approved the MLB’s Washington Nationals proposal to start the season at Nationals Park without fans. Washington’s health director told the team that they could have fans in the stands later in April depending on local COVID-19 numbers.
Washington’s health department is still examining recent COVID-19 strains and their effect on vaccines before giving the Nationals and other teams the green light to host fans.
The health department said that it is “premature” to think about how many fans will be allowed and when they will.
The Nationals will be required to allow Health Department, Alcohol and Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) inspectors to come into their facilities to make sure they are complying with the terms of the waiver.
This has to mean that the Washington Capitals and Wizards will not allow fans until at least mid-April. One important thing to keep in mind is that the Nationals play outdoors, unlike the Capitals and Wizards, so it is easier to precent the spread of COVID-19 for them than the other two.
DC @MayorBowser approves @Nationals request to hold games at Nats Park, but WITHOUT fans. DC Health Director tells team decision to allow fans could be reconsidered later this month based on #COVID19 metrics. @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/Z0gbSkthUl
— Mark Segraves (@SegravesNBC4) March 2, 2021
The Philadelphia Flyers will start allowing fans at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday against the Capitals, the team announced on Tuesday. Around 3000 (15% capacity) will be allowed.
It’s official. Wells Fargo Center announces that fans will be back at Flyers games starting with Sunday’s PHI-WSH game. https://t.co/bMCrCZwbWA
— Charlie O’Connor (@charlieo_conn) March 2, 2021
By Harrison Brown
Wow. The Nationals already have fans in the seats for their Spring Training games in Florida. Tampa Bay Rays plan on having fans in the seats for regular games. Even the Pittsburgh Penguins have fans in the seats starting today.
Been watching ECHL hockey where teams have had fans in the seats since their season started mid December. Even though the Solar Bears share their arena with the Orlando Magic and area with Universal and Disney, have not seen high numbers of deaths or even hospitalizations in the Orlando area.
Tampa had the Super Bowl a month ago (with parties and official celebration after) and I haven’t seen epic numbers there either. By the way, Florida beaches are already crowded as Florida enjoys sunny weather in the 80s.
I think it varies by region. Outdoor games are different animals that indoor games, but the news is encouraging. The fact they are will to revisit later this month is positive. As more and more teams start allowing fans, the pressure on governments resisting will intensify, but bottom line is that it needs to be safe.