BOSTON (CBS) — Monday was a significant day for the state of Massachusetts, as Governor Charlie Baker announced that COVID restrictions will come to an end on May 29.
While the impact of that change will be felt in nearly all walks of life, it will also spark a major change for sports in the city of Boston.READ MORE: Cam Newton May Be Back On Field This Week For Patriots Mandatory Minicamp
With the changes, the allowed capacity within Fenway Park and TD Garden — currently capped at 25 percent — will go back to 100 percent.
For the Red Sox, that will come into play in the middle of their weekend series against the Miami Marlins, who are in Boston from May 28-30. The Red Sox then hit the road for a week, returning on June 8 for a seven-game homestand against the Astros and Blue Jays.
Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy announced that Fenway will be able to host fans at full capacity for both Red Sox games and concerts this summer.READ MORE: Blue Jays Slug 5 Homers In 7-2 Victory Over Red Sox
“We thank Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, Mayor Janey and the numerous public health officials who have been extraordinary partners guiding us every step of the way,” Kennedy said. “A year ago, the Governor and his team set forth a roadmap for the safe reopening of the Commonwealth. It is because of the administration’s steadfast leadership and intentional planning that we are now able to lift restrictions and limits put into place over 15 months ago to keep our community safe. In the City of Boston, Mayor Janey’s leadership has made this day possible. Less than two months into her tenure, she has overseen the safe return to normal operations in our city. We are excited see Boston’s vibrancy restored and get back to the full energy of our ballpark and the Fenway neighborhood in the weeks ahead.”
For the Bruins, the team will need to advance past the first round in order to gain the benefit of full home-ice advantage. Their current first-round series against the Capitals is underway, with Game 6 (if necessary) set for May 25 in Boston. If the Bruins can manage to get past Washington, their second-round series will see 17,000-plus fans in attendance.
The Celtics have even fewer guarantees. They’ll host a game in the play-in tournament on Tuesday (at 25 percent capacity). If they can win that game (or if not, win a play-in game on Thursday) then they will likely be able to host a game or two at full capacity in the first-round series in which they end up participating, as the first round won’t begin until after the play-in tournament concludes on Friday night.
The New England Revolution will also be allowed to operate at their full capacity. Their first home game after the lifting of the protocols will be June 23 against the New York Red Bulls.MORE NEWS: Verdugo, Red Sox Rally From 4 Down, Top Blue Jays 6-5 In 9th
And though it’s far off in the distance, Monday’s news does confirm that a full crowd of nearly 66,000 people will be able to attend Tom Brady’s return to Foxboro in September, when the Buccaneers visit the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.