But will fans be able to watch baseball in person at Wrigley — or Guaranteed Rate Field — this season? Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday said it’s going to happen, but she didn’t say how soon.
Another Chicago sports mecca could soon join the United Center as a site for coronavirus vaccinations.
The Chicago Cubs are “in discussions with the city” about opening a mass-vaccination site “somewhere on the Wrigley Field campus,” team spokesman Julian Green said Tuesday.
Those shots won’t be administered on the field itself, Green said, but vaccinations could take place along the stadium’s inside concourses, in the outdoor plaza along the third-base line, in a players’ parking lot or in the Wrigley conference center.
“We want to be helpful,” Green said. “If we can assist by allowing the assets we have to be used as a site for a life-saving vaccine, we’d be honored to serve.”
Advocate Aurora Health is in line to operate the site, providing “clinical staffing and technical infrastructure,” if the city authorizes it and there are adequate vaccine supplies.
The health care provider would be “proud to partner on a possible Wrigley Field mass vaccination site,” said Advocate spokeswoman Brigid Sweeney.
Sweeney said Wrigley is being considered because it’s easy CTA access makes it “a convenient option for people who do not own cars.”
Meanwhile, in other news involving Wrigley — and Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox — Lightfoot said fans of both teams will be able to attend games this season. She just didn’t say how many, or when.
“There will be a point some time this season where you’ll see fans in the stands” at both ballparks, said the mayor, a Sox season ticket holder.
And while Lightfoot didn’t reveal details, she did say both the Sox and Cubs have “come up with very good plans” to make that possible.
The Cubs presented a plan to the city and MLB to bring fans back in July, midway through the pandemic-shortened season, but it never panned out, the Sun-Times reported.
Crane Kenney, president of business operations for the Cubs, had hoped to allow 6,000 to 7,000 fans in the field at a time, spaced out in groups of two, four and six. The original plan also called for designated gates and staggered entry and exit times.
Despite Lightfoot’s comment on seeing fans in the stands, the White Sox and Cubs will still have to make sure their plans to welcome fans back are in accordance with city and MLB safety protocols.
The MLB said plans to have fans in attendance during the regular season haven’t been made official yet, but there is an “optimism about fans being able to enjoy games in person in 2021,” according to its website.
Opening day is scheduled for April 1, with the White Sox playing the Angels at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., and the Pirates playing Cubs at Wrigley Field.