PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia has lifted some coronavirus restrictions to allow spectators at sporting events, but that doesn’t mean fans will be able to attend right away. The wait will have to continue for Sixers and Flyers fans.
“Those mitigation efforts are important to stop the spread and as we work through getting through vaccinating some of our most vulnerable, we know it’s important to maintain those mitigation efforts,” said Lindsay Mauldin with the Pennsylvania Health Department.READ MORE: Police: 9-Year-Old Boy Shot When Gunman Fires Into Olney Home
Pennsylvania’s state health department is keeping to its events limitations, which are:
- a maximum of 500 people for an indoor event with a capacity exceeding 10,000
- Or 2,500 for an outdoor event with the same space.
The city matched those numbers Friday, opening the door, at least, to a return to the seats.
“I’m just saying, if the state wanted to raise that, we would have to look and see what they are suggesting and see if it’s appropriate,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.
The problem is, though, it’s just not enough, at least not for the Sixers or Flyers.
“Welcoming fans back would require more than 500 employees in the arena, so we’re not able to do that with our capacity limited to only 500 people, but we are in direct communication with city and state officials to determine when we can further increase our capacity and welcome fans back to the arena,” Wells Fargo Center said in a statement.READ MORE: Byron McDonald II Suspected In Killing 2-Year-Old Son's Mother, Grandmother, Police Say
Wells Fargo Center says they’re optimistic about fans returning in March but restrictions need to be further lifted, citing several hundred employees needed for every game already
“To welcome fans back to the arena, more than 500 employees would be required onsite”@CBSPhilly
— Dan Koob (@DanKoob) February 26, 2021
While no doubt frustrating, we are clawing closer.
“There’s no question we’re moving in the right direction here, so I’m not sure whether no more than 2,500 is appropriate,” Farley said. “Certainly, if the state changes, we’ll look at that to that state limit.”MORE NEWS: Buena Community Rallies To Save Suspended Landisville Volunteer Fire Company From Permanent Shutdown
If nothing were to change between now and April 1, the day of the Phillies’ home opener, they would conceivably have a max capacity of 2,500.