White Sox, Cubs can now increase attendance, will offer vaccinated-only sections
There were fans in the seats at Guaranteed Rate Field Wednesday night, but not enough to completely muffle animated White Sox closer Liam Hendriks.
"I tend to get a little yelly on the mound," Hendriks said.
The Sox's relief pitcher also tends to unleash profanities, and Hendriks' vocal frustrations were clearly audible during a rough stretch against the Twins.
An announced crowd of 8,393 was on hand for the White Sox's 13-8 win over Minnesota. That's roughly 20% of capacity, which was the attendance number set before the season due to COVID-19.
On Thursday, the White Sox and Cubs both announced more fans will soon be allowed to attend games at Guaranteed Rate Field and Wrigley Field.
Following approval from city and state leaders and public health officials, the Sox will increase capacity to 60% (approximately 24,300) beginning with a May 24 game against the Cardinals.
The Cubs will increase capacity to 60% beginning May 28, when they open a weekend series against the Reds at Wrigley.
"I love the crowds," Hendriks said. "I love the fan interaction. I want fans back in the stands as much as possible. It's not the same without them."
The Sox will also feature two vaccinated-only sections for four games this weekend. Beginning with Game 1 of the doubleheader against the Royals Friday, fans can purchase tickets in the designated vaccinated-only sections located in 108-109 after presenting their vaccination cards or other proof that they have been fully vaccinated along with a photo ID upon entering the ballpark.
Fans holding tickets in these sections will be seated without physical distancing.
The White Sox also announced beginning May 24, two vaccination sites will be available at Guaranteed Rate Field. Every fan getting a vaccination before a game will receive a $25 Sox gift card for use inside the ballpark.
The Cubs announced the upper section of the center field bleachers will be designated for fully vaccinated fans when the Nationals play at Wrigley Field May 17 to 20.
The section will be sold at full capacity and seats will not be physically distanced. Single game tickets located in this area went on sale Thursday and are $20 plus applicable taxes and fees.