Welcome back! Flyers, 76ers, Phillies allowing limited amount of fans at games
After nearly a full year, a limited amount of fans will be able to watch the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers play at the Wells Fargo Center beginning as soon as Sunday night.
That will be followed on April 1 when the Phillies begin their season at Citizens Bank Park.
On Tuesday, the city of Philadelphia agreed to meet standards set by the commonwealth on Pennsylvania allowing 15% capacity at indoor facilities and 20% at outdoor venues.
The Flyers will be the first team to play a home game in front of fans when they face the Washington Capitals on Sunday night. The Sixers will play their first game in front of fans on March 14, following the NBA's All-Star break.
It is believed that roughly 3,100 fans will be allowed into the Wells Fargo Center, which seats as many as 21,000 for basketball and 19,600 for hockey. The total allowed in the building also includes players, coaches, staff, arena/stadium workers and media.
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For the Phillies, the total is expected to be around 8,800 fans in the ballpark that seats up to 45,000.
It's the first time fans will be allowed in the Wells Fargo Center since last March 11, when the Sixers played. Later that night, the NBA suspended its season, which resumed four months later in a bubble environment in Orlando, Florida. The Flyers last played at home in front of fans on March 10, 2020.
The Phillies haven't played a home game in front of fans since the end of the 2019 season. The start of the 2020 season was delayed until July, and no fans were allowed throughout the shortened 60-game season.
Of course, there will be strict protocols in place for both the Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park.
Fans will be required to wear a mask at all times, complete a health assessment questionnaire and follow social distancing rules.
For rules and ticket information for the Sixers and Flyers, fans can visit wellsfargocenterphilly.com/back-to-broad. For the Phillies, tickets for the first 19 home games (through May 6) will go on sale beginning March 12. Fans can visit phillies.com for more information.
“We’ve been working around the clock to ensure that we can safely welcome Flyers and 76ers fans back to Wells Fargo Center, and we’re thrilled to open our doors to Philly sports fans once again,” Valerie Camillo, president of business operations for the Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center, said in a statement.
“This is a big deal for our building and our teams, but it’s also an important step for our local economy. Every time the Flyers and 76ers play at home, we’ll have hundreds of part-time employees back on the job and dozens of local businesses will benefit, too, so this is a win for our entire city."
Wells Fargo Center has also undergone a health as safety transformation, including an $11 million renovation of the HVAC system.
Similar guidelines will be in place for Phillies' games. It's possible the capacity for games could either increase or decrease depending on the severity of COVID-19 cases in the region.
The Eagles, for example, were allowed to have a limited amount of fans for a few games last season. That came out to about 6,000 per game. But once COVID-19 cases spiked in November, fans were not allowed in for the rest of the season.
“We have been diligently working with our city and state officials to finalize health and safety protocols at Citizens Bank Park. With these important measures now in place, we are excited to safely welcome a limited number of our fans back to the ballpark experience,” Phillies Executive Vice President David Buck said in a statement. “The unmatched energy our fans bring to the game has undoubtedly been missed, and we can’t wait to hear their cheers once again come Opening Day."
Contact Martin Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.