Dear Phillies Fans,
Do you remember the last game with fans at Citizen’s Bank Park? I do. I was there. Bryce Harper got up there before the game and made a speech, thanking the fans for their support during a difficult year.
“I believe in this organization. I believe in this city. And we will reign again.”
Of course, 2020 was not what anyone expected. The team went .500 in a 60-game season, the bullpen exploded, and the Phillies did not reign again. Also, there was a global pandemic that quite literally shut down the world and kept fans out of stadiums across the country.
Forget the Past, Let’s Play Ball!
But here we are, fans are attending Spring Training games and 8,800 fans will be able to attend each of the Phillies’ first 19 games at Citizens Bank Park this year. And while there are many fans out there who would like nothing more than to forget that the calendar year 2020 even happened and to move on, we can’t.
Because, while having fans back on game days is great and a huge step forward, it won’t take much for a setback to occur. All it takes is for one fan to be carrying the virus (symptomatic or asymptomatic) and all of a sudden there is an outbreak among fans.
Just Follow the Phillies’ and MLB Regulations
Until COVID-19 vaccines are readily available for all Americans, there is still a lot of risks to be had with the potential spread at games. As such, the Phillies and Citizens Bank Park are imposing regulations on fans coming to the game. And before anyone says it, it is not unconstitutional for them to do so. It is similar to a beachfront restaurant choosing not to allow customers in without shoes and a shirt on, it is their right to do so as a business.
The Phillies’ guidelines are pretty simple: fans will be seated in 2-6 people pods and face coverings must be worn ages two and up for all fans except while eating or drinking. That’s it. Wear your mask at your seat. Follow the rules provided.
While there is an argument for fans to not have their masks on while in their seats/pods, it is ultimately up to the Phillies to decide what they are/are not allowing. These are the rules they have set forward and if you do not want to follow them, please do not buy a ticket so a fan who will follow the rules can go instead. (Pro tip: if you buy a bucket of popcorn and just keep munching on it, then you don’t need to wear your mask!)
Hopefully we will get to a point over the summer where masks and social distancing are not required. In the meantime, please just wear your mask and don’t ruin it for the rest of the fanbase who just wants to hear Harry Kalas sing “High Hopes” again.
A fellow Phillies fan
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire