Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox owners agreed with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker to not have fans at home games until May 1.
Major League Baseball has suspended spring training and will be pushing Opening Day back by at least two weeks in the wake of the coronavirus. MLB along with the NHL, NBA, MLS and NCAA have canceled events such as the NCAA Tournament and/or suspended the season indefinitely.
Initial safety measures included games taking place in the arena without fans in the stands, media access was limited and only essential personnel was allowed entry.
With MLB having a lot of unknowns at the time in the aftermath of the decision to suspend things, one of the questions is whether fans will be allowed in the stadiums when the games resume.
In Chicago, the games may go on without fans in Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker spoke with owners of the Chicago sports teams and asked them not to have home games, and if they do have home games, to play them without fans in the stands.
Depending on when the NBA and NHL seasons resume, the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks could open the doors to the United Center to players-only. Should the games go on without fans in attendance, there will be a refund policy that the Bulls and Blackhawks would have to provide to ticket holders so they can get a full refund.
The same goes for the potential Cubs and White Sox games that may take place without fans. It would certainly make for an unusual environment, and it would surely leave many fans upset they can’t be there, the precautionary measures taken place across the country, and the globe, have to take precedence to the disappointment of not sitting in the upper deck of an April 21 game when it’s 37 degrees.
Safety first after all.
Expect more information regarding the future of sports in Chicago and when fans will be able to see their favorite players and teams in person again in the coming days and weeks as more information is gathered in response to the coronavirus pandemic.