PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Phillies took the field at Citizens Bank Park for practice on Wednesday. Tomorrow is the real deal! It will be the first time in more than a year that fans will be able to be in the seats to watch the games.
And for things to get to this point, it’s taken a lot of planning and work by the city for fans in the stands to be possible.READ MORE: Man Dies After Being Shot Four Times In West Oak Lane, Philadelphia Police Say
Sports Director Don Bell went one-on-one with the man in charge of it all — Mayor Jim Kenney.
The opening day experience is hard to take for granted given where we were in March of 2020.
Excited fans will be in the stands and Kenney will be one of them. Eyewitness News caught up with him to talk about opening day and beyond.
Bell: The weather is getting nicer, people are getting a little frisky and the number of COVID cases are on the rise. If this trend continues, is it possible we could lose the privilege to visit the ballpark?READ MORE: Fall Full-Capacity Concerts, Xfinity Live! Preparing To Reopen Has Philadelphia's Stadium District Buzzing With Energy
Kenney: Well, we hope not. The one thing about this whole issue is it’s up to people. It’s up to people to mask up, stay distant. People insist on getting together in large groups, which is really dangerous, especially now. And you have to get vaccinated, as soon as you can. Whatever dose you’re offered, you have to go get it. And I think once we get up to 60-70% of people vaccinated, we’ll really start seeing things loosen up again.
Bell: Right now, Citizens Bank Park is at 20% capacity. Do you see us getting back to full any time this season?
Kenney: I would hope that by July, August or so, we’ll have that many more people vaccinated. I would think that maybe before the end of the summer or in the fall when the Phillies make the playoffs and we get back into September, October, that we could have a full stadium again.
The Phillies open their season Thursday at home vs. the Atlanta Braves at 3:05 p.m.MORE NEWS: Tolls Increasing Sunday On 8 Delaware River Crossings Connecting Pennsylvania, New Jersey
Watch the video to see more of Bell’s interview with Mayor Kenney.