As you may recall, Illinois has successfully navigated to Phase 4 of its reopening process, meaning that as of Friday, outdoor sports may have fans in attendance, up to 20% capacity.
One drawback, as it would relate to the Cubs, White Sox, and Bears, among others, is that the City of Chicago may not accurately follow Illinois on this front, if the city believes it is still too early to have fans. present, even in limited capacity. It remains to be seen how Chicago will proceed, though if things continue to improve in the area, it is conceivable that fans will be allowed at Soldier Field this fall, and it is even possible that fans may be at baseball games this summer.
To that end, the White Sox seem to be making plans:
Mini-scoop: I was told that the White Sox plan to play with a limited number of fans in the stands this year. I haven’t received a confirmation from the Cubs. The exact capacity is not known and is obviously subject to change, but the thinking is around 20%.
– Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) June 24, 2020
If the White Sox plan to have 20% capacity this year when the season begins July 24 (or soon after), you can bet that the Cubs will be looking to do the same at Wrigley Field.
As an official matter, the White Sox are moving to the city for now:
“Mayor Lightfoot addressed the issue publicly at her press conference on Monday, saying that while she hoped our city would eventually reach the spectator point at sporting events, Chicago was not at that point yet in the fight against the pandemic.”
– Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) June 24, 2020
But none of that means they’re not making plans right now, they should be, or they’re not going to privately push Mayor Lightfoot over the course of next month. One would think that the outdoor nature of the experience and the ability to truly distance people with such limited ability would move the city in favor of allowing attendance, but you must remember that there are always choke points in baseball stadiums. And when you have thousands of people together in one facility, you’re at risk.
Getting confirmation that the Cubs are also at least thinking about this? I doubt we will have it publicly anytime soon. But if the Cubs are seriously considering it, I guess they’ll be reaching out to season ticket holders soon to get an idea of how many are interested in coming to limited-capacity games this year. That was one of the first signs that the Rangers were making plans.
Even if fans aren’t allowed at Wrigley Field right away, you can safely guess that the Cubs could use Wrigley’s rooftops, mostly owned by the Ricketts family, as some of the only unique ball game seats available in the country. Watching that video, with no fans in the stands, fans cheering on the neighboring rooftops, will be very strange.
Also still strange? Thinking of what it might have been like with this guy, who the Cubs will face six times this short season: