Local sports venues react to lifted COVID restrictions, announce plans for full capacity
On Monday morning Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker announced the state would speed up its reopening plan. By May 29, Massachusetts will lift all COVID restrictions, as well as the mask mandate.
What does this mean for local sports teams? Both Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park are expected to open fully with no delay, and begin hosting events at 100% capacity as soon as possible, while TD Garden’s status depends on the teams that play there.
Gillette’s first scheduled event after the May 29 opening is Memorial Day Weekend, when the Premier Lacrosse League holds its season opener. That will consist of games June 4-6. The first Revolution game will a full crowd would be June 23, when they host the New York Red Bulls. There hasn’t yet been any update on Patriots training camp, which usually starts in late July and would be the first football event held at the stadium this year.
As for Fenway Park, the Red Sox released a statement confirming they’ll allow full attendance starting on May 29 when they host the Miami Marlins. Games between now and then will still be held at 25 percent capacity, with masks required.
TD Garden is still “considering options about how to move forward,” according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. The Garden’s situation is a bit different, as they currently don’t have any games scheduled beyond May 29.
The Bruins’ final home game of the first round would be Game 6, which is set for May 25, meaning they’d have to advance to play in front of a packed house. Meanwhile the Celtics are looking to advance from the NBA’s play-in tournament – if they do they’d have a chance to host a full crowd in the first round of the playoffs.
Boston hasn’t had a fully-attended professional sporting event since March 8, 2020, when the Celtics hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder. That was 447 days before the COVID restrictions are set to be removed on May 29. Since it’s been so long, here’s a reminder of what the local stadiums look like when they’re filled with fans.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.