In California, a color-coded system determined by local infection rates sets limits. Until recently, Los Angeles County was in the strictest press level, which would limit attendance to 100 fans at LA Galaxy and LAFC football games and Dodgers baseball games.
But the province has since moved to the red level, allowing 20 percent capacity on sports venues. So when the Dodgers play their home opener on April 9, but as many as 11,200 fans will be on hand at Dodger Stadium. Orange County has also switched to red, which will allow 9,000 fans to turn up Angel Stadium. San Diego County too, which gave the OK for 10,000 Padres fans at Petco Park.
And so it goes across the country in a chessboard way. The Colorado Rockies can fill their ballpark to just over 42 percent of capacity, or 21,000 fans who have to wear proper masks. In Missouri, the St. Louis Kardinale can fill up to 32 percent of their stadium, and in Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates 20 percent can fill. But in Michigan, current regulations state that the Detroit Tigers allows only 1,000 fans, though the team says the figure could be increased.
In Oregon, government officials do not yet have the Portland Timbers mans en Portland Thorns women’s soccer teams to allow fans into Providence Park. This also applies to 13 NBA basketball teams, although the number may shrink in the coming days.
Indeed, the NBA has perhaps the most uniform legal policy regarding Covid protocols. In the 17 arenas that currently allow fans, no one is allowed to go to court and they must be at least 15 feet behind team benches. Fans with seats within 30 meters of the court must present a negative Covid-19 test or pass a quick test on the premises within 48 hours after the match, and it is forbidden to eat.
The NHL has also made adjustments to the track after some early season outbursts among players and officials in closed doors. The plexiglass panels were removed from behind the team benches and the penalty boxes to promote air circulation. And on 18 of the 24 U.S. tracks that will allow attendance now or soon, fans are prohibited from sitting behind the benches and penalty kicks or next to the glass.
And then there’s Texas …
Then there is the Lone Star State, where Gov. Greg Abbott recently removed all restrictions on Covid-19.
The Texas Rangers saw it as their guideline to allow full capacity, all 40,518 seats, for the first three games in their new baseball stadium in Arlington – the first team in North America to do so. There will be no protocols that could have a mask-wearing rule at the two exhibition games on 29 and 30 March and the season opening on 5 April. Subsequent matches will be at less than full but still indefinite capacity.