CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio’s governor said on Monday that he was not yet ready to fully commit to a count on capacity at professional sporting events but did suggest allowing approximately 30% of a venue’s spectator limit to attend.
The capacity limits would apply to home games for the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds, as well as Ohio’s professional soccer teams, Gov DeWine said.
Progressive Field has a capacity of just over 35,000 fans, which would mean approximately 10,500 spectators would be permitted.
No fans were allowed to attend Indians games during the 2020 season.
Steven Zornes, Manager at City Tap Cleveland, says that’s exactly what downtown needs to bring it back to life.
“Business hasn’t been great down here,” Zornes said. “It’s kind of an event-based area, so with nothing going on, no concerts, no games, there’s just not that high on business, but if there was, we’re not allowed to have that many people in here, so it’s kind of like a catch 22. We’d love for it to be busier but on the weekends, we’re filling up as much as we can already.”
Masks would still likely be required.
“Not a ton of places are open, so hopefully more fans will be down here, more people open, it’ll be better business for everybody,” Zornes said.
A decision on the number of fans at games would also depend on the prevalence of the evolving COVID-19 strains.
“We don’t know what the spread is going to be,” explained Governor DeWine. “So, we’re optimistic. We’re looking at a summer where more and more people are gonna be vaccinated.”
Gov. DeWine said he expects to release additional information by the end of the week but would like to see health safety plans and protocols from each team. The state and local health departments would then review those plans.
Cleveland Indians spokesperson, Bart Swain, sent 19 News the following statement: “The Cleveland Indians are excited at the prospect of playing host to fans at Progressive Field in April 2021. While we finalize our health and safety protocols in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic, local and state officials over the next few days, we did begin communication to Season Ticket Holders today regarding our proposed plans to accommodate fans this season.”