Earlier today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo officially announced that Citi Field and Yankee Stadium have been approved to bring in fans at a 20% capacity to start the 2021 season. This will amount to an attendance of 8,492 fans per game when the Mets kick off their home schedule on April 8 against the Nationals.
Fans who wish to attend a game this season will need to show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter. Shortly after the announcement, the Mets released a statement on the return of fans, noting that seats will be sold in clusters of one to six seats, and that mask-wearing and social distancing measures will be enforced for all fans in attendance. Governor Cuomo added that, “as the COVID rates continue to improve, capacity rates will continue to increase.”
It has been 557 days since fans have been at Citi Field, with the most recent game having occurred on September 29, 2019, when Dominic Smith concluded that season with a dramatic walk-off home run. As the coronavirus pandemic raged on, the 2020 season was delayed by four months, and when baseball returned in July, it was to empty stadiums and cardboard cutouts.
Mets owner Steve Cohen added this statement:
“We’re really excited about the season ahead and welcoming the best fans in baseball back — safely — to Citi Field. We thank Governor Cuomo and the state’s Department of Health for their efforts in this significant step in New York’s recovery from COVID and look forward to continuing to work with them as capacity restrictions and testing requirements hopefully ease in the months ahead — to allow as many fans as possible to have a safe and great time with us.”