Fans may soon be allowed back into pro sports venues in Massachusetts, with Gov. Charlie Baker reportedly set to lay out a plan for limited attendance at large venues Thursday.
According to the Boston Globe, Gov. Baker is set to make an announcement Thursday afternoon that his administration will allow for large venues in Massachusetts with a capacity of 5,000 or greater to reopen next month with a “limited capacity plan” starting March 22.
The announcement would be of tremendous import to major sporting venues across the state, including Fenway Park and TD Garden in Boston. It will also allow Gillette Stadium in Foxborough and the nearly completed Polar Park in Worcester to take steps toward allowing in fans.
Fans have not been allowed at a major New England sporting event since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the Celtics and Bruins seasons roughly a year ago in February 2020.
The reported announcement comes as the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics are already in the midst of their seasons, which have featured games in front of empty arenas. Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox and soon-to-debut Worcester Red Sox are set to start their seasons in the coming months.
The March 22 start date would allow for fans in attendance on Opening Day at Fenway Park and Polar Park, if all timelines remain on target.
While Gov. Baker’s reported announcement will open the door for venues to reopen, it does not necessarily mean that venues will immediately open on March 22. The decision to allow fans inside will ultimately come down to the individual municipalities and venues.
There are still a number of steps to take before fans can get back into stadiums. However, the announcement is the first — and most significant — toward making it happen.