Cubs Receive Permission for 25% Capacity Attendance at Spring Training This Year

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Cubs Receive Permission for 25% Capacity Attendance at Spring Training This Year

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs annually have the largest home attendance base in the Cactus League, frequently breaking (their own) attendance records over the course of the monthlong spring schedule.

That, of course, will not happen this year. Instead, the big question has been whether the Cubs – or others in Arizona – would be permitted to have any attendance at all. Given that other sports in the state are proceeding with limited capacity attendance, it was a fair bet that some version would take place for Sloan Park, too. Though with games scheduled to start in just under three weeks, a final plan needed to come quickly.

And there it is:

A 25% capacity Sloan Park would be about 3750 people, though Levine reports the Cubs are looking at something more like 3500. As expected, the park will operate with safety protocols in place, per the CDC, including mandatory masking when not eating, and socially-distanced seating “pods” of two to six people per group. It remains the case that, if you’re going to do “activities” during the pandemic, the ones that take place at a distance outside are among the safer ones.

It’s likely that most, if not all, of the other clubs in the Cactus League will receive similar limited-capacity approvals from Arizona and their respective cities. Tickets at Sloan will first go to previous season ticket holders before whatever is left can be sold to the public.

Similar approvals are no doubt being sought right now from Illinois and Chicago for the regular season at Wrigley Field, but my guess is those entities are going to continue to track the state of the pandemic and vaccinations before making any decisions. What’s most important in all of this is proceeding WITH the science in a safe way. If some attendance can be done in a safe way, then God bless, go to a baseball game. I have zero interest in telling people, after a year, and *IF* trends continue to improve significantly, that they can’t go enjoy some life. I certainly plan to. But, like everything with the pandemic, the decision has to be guided by science and a realistic view of human behavior. We have a real and meaningful window of time to bring cases way down over the next few months, and I desperately hope people do their part to make that happen. The range of possibilities on what our collective summer can look like is quite wide at the moment, and decisions and behaviors this month will greatly impact what comes in June, July, and beyond.

The Cubs open their Spring Training game schedule on February 27 against the Dodgers at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona. It will be the first Cubs game at which fans could be in attendance in nearly a year.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.