City of Philadelphia Easing Sports Venue Restrictions, but it Doesn’t Mean Anything Right Now

Eric Hartline - USA Today Sports

The other day we did a post on this topic, with Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley saying that the city would relax COVID restrictions on sporting venues in March.

That’s great, but the problem is that we’re kind of putting the cart before the horse here, since Pennsylvania hasn’t changed statewide rules regarding fan attendance.

Friday, Farley announced that outdoor venues, such as Citizens Bank Park, can have up to 2,500 people. Indoor venues can have a maximum of 500. They are matching the state guidelines.

The problem is that Pennsylvania is still going by the following threshold for indoor venues:

  • 2,000 people or less: 10% capacity
  • 2,000 people to 10,000 people: 5% capacity
  • maximum cap, no matter size: 500 people

And for outdoor venues:

  • 2,000 people or less: 15% capacity
  • 2,000 people to 10,000 people: 20% capacity
  • more than 10,000 people: 5% capacity
  • maximum cap, no matter size: 2,500

Keep in mind, these are total occupancy numbers. So it includes players, coaches, staffers, media, etc. This relaxing of city rules basically results in nothing tangible next week, because 500 people max isn’t enough to staff the Wells Fargo Center and allow fans in at the same time. That number needs to be larger.

It’s a good step forward though, because it shows the city is beginning to budge. If baseball season began today, we’d be able to have a very small amount of fans at CBP.

We just need the state to relax the guidelines, then Philly will be a few weeks behind, and we’ll get fans back in arenas by the spring and summer.