Ohio sports fans may before get the chance to root up for their home team in person on a bigger scale. On Monday, The major league sports teams of Ohio will be beginning their seasons this spring and expectedly the will be allowed up to 30% of fan capacity under approved pandemic plans, as per to the statement of the governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine said.
The governor planned a formal announcement Thursday. Permitting 30% of fans into stadiums would be depending on following the major SOPs of pandemic like social distancing and continued mask wearing,
“The full announcement is expected Thursday,” DeWine said.
The expansion in the fan capacity would apply to the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds along with six minor league baseball teams and the Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati major league soccer clubs that could all have spectators at the start of their 2021 seasons. DeWine said, adding that the government has learned a lot from the experience of mask-wearing in schools.
“We can do that if everyone is masked. Kids have been relatively close together and yet we have not seen the spread in classrooms and schools.”
DeWine publicly spoke only about outdoor locations, and not indoor stadiums and arena like Nationwide Arena where the Columbus Blue Jackets play, which recently gained approval for 10% capacity. But the expansion of fan capacity at outdoor sporting events does not seem to apply to the sport events of high schools.
The press secretary of the governor of Ohio, Dan Tierney said,
“When asked to clarify whether this expanded to indoor venues, the plan is not finalized.”
The governor of Ohio, DeWine also said that last week he spoke to the Indians and Reds, also he will be speaking this week to all six minor-league teams in the state of Ohio to go over the plan. But DeWine cautioned that all teams of the state to must come up with plans that have mask wearing commands and following proper social distancing rules before they are approved to allow fans let in. DeWine said,
“We think that 30% is a logical place to start, provided they can also have the distancing that is required. What we have told them is we want to see your plan and we will review the plan. Their local health department, county health department will review the plan as well.”
The executive director Doug Ute of Ohio High School Athletic Association was uninformed of intentions of DeWine to loosen limitations on the capacity of fans and has not heard from the governor’s office. Ute said,
“I have not heard anything. We can probably accommodate that 15 percent pretty comfortable.”
When DeWine allowed for the lesser of 15% or 1,500 fans capacity at sporting events, last year. The Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals applied for changes to have more fans in presence. The Ohio Department of Health permitted the Bengals and Browns to host up to 12,000 fans at some games this past season.
Last year, the entire Minor League Baseball 2020 season was called off because of the pandemic. Major League Baseball did not have any fans in the presences at games until last season, the National League Championship Series and World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.