By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The TD Garden has been allowing fans at a 12 percent capacity to attend games over the past week. Fenway Park will open on Thursday under the same restriction.READ MORE: Tom Brady Is Not A Fan Of NFL's Uniform Number Rule Change
Come September, though, Patriots owner Robert Kraft is hoping to have every one of his seats at Gillette Stadium filled for the team’s home opener in the 2021 season.
The team announced that hope in late February, but while speaking to the New England media on Wednesday, Kraft reiterated that goal and said that he believes it is realistic.
“I hope we all have a much better year, and I truly hope that we have our herd immunity so we have a full stadium and get back to normal,” Kraft said.
Kraft, of course, is no idle bystander in the movement to get to that point. He’s opened up Gillette Stadium as a mass vaccination site, and more than 300,000 doses have already been administered.
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— Gillette Stadium (@GilletteStadium) March 31, 2021
With the supply increasing, Kraft feels comfortable with his optimism for a stadium full of fans come September.
“Our organization has worked with the state,” Kraft said. “If we could get more supply here, we could do up to 10,000 vaccinations a day, or 300,000 [per month]. We could do a million and a half people before our season would even start. So we just need supply of product — as well as the other sites — and if that happens, we should have herd immunity. And I hope our people in the government sector can see it that way.”
Kraft was speaking to the media via conference call, a break from his normal tradition of speaking to reporters on site at the owners’ meetings. But with those meetings being held virtually this year because of COVID-19, he used Wednesday as an opportunity to reflect back upon the past year.MORE NEWS: NFL Approves Rule Change Allowing More Jersey Numbers For Certain Positions
“I was thinking, and it’s really unbelievable, a year ago today we sent our Patriots team plane to China to try to expedite the delivery of 1,200,000 respirator masks,” Kraft said. “And I’m pretty proud, we’re the first site in the northeast to be licensed to give vaccinations, and as of today, we’ve given more than 300,000 vaccinations at our site. And a lot of our fans have gotten them, and I’ve gotten some beautiful letters from people, how it’s impacted their lives and their psyches. And I just thought of my sweetheart Myra, and she thought I was a little nuts when I paid so much for the the team that was losing money. And I told her that if we did a good job, we would be able to impact our community in ways that just giving a donation couldn’t happen. And so I hope she’s smiling right now.”