The Chicago Cubs hope to have fans in the stands soon after baseball returns for a 60-game season, according to President of Business Operations Crane Kenney.
“We are at a point where we believe we can bring a part of our fan base to the Wrigley field,” Kenney said on ESPN 1000 on Thursday morning.
The state of Illinois is moving to Coronavirus Recovery Phase 4 on Friday, allowing companies up to 20 percent capacity, including Wrigley Field and Guarantee Rate Rate Field where the White Sox play. But the city of Chicago isn’t ready to pass the same measure, so fans may not be able to enter on opening day. The mayor must sign first. However, the multiple rooftops located across the street from the stadium in left and right field are at stake. Kenney imagines them getting fans right away.
“It seems they can because each is an individual address and the capacity is limited,” he explained.
When fans are allowed to return to Wrigley Field, Kenney anticipates a capacity of approximately 8,000 with a ticket distribution system still to be determined. Subscriber holders are likely to be given priority. MLB is allowing publicity in all stands, but Kenney says they will not “cheat” the park. Artificial fan noise, until the real thing is heard, is a possibility.
“We will be a little more creative,” said Kenney. “It’s hard to watch games where there is no virtual insertion of fan noise. Let’s play with that.”
The Cubs also hope that most of their fans will be able to watch their games. His new television network, Marquee, is currently unavailable on Comcast, Chicago’s largest cable provider. That should change by opening day.
“The pace has accelerated dramatically since last Friday,” Kenney said of the negotiations. “I can’t imagine Comcast not providing (games) to the millions of Cubs fans who are subscribed. I am optimistic about it.”