Fans return to sports games amid pandemic


Photo by Kaylah Goldrich

The Yankees Stadium full to the new capacity which abides by COVID-19 requirements.

Kaylah Goldrich, Guest Reporter

As I looked around Yankee Stadium, hotdog in hand with the faint sounds of the game in the background, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the experience of attending baseball games before the pandemic. In those days, I wasn’t required to wear a mask or worry about maintaining social distancing through the game. 

There are now many precautions required by the state of New York that allow for fans to attend games. To get into the stadium, fans have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination. Fans can either provide proof of a negative PCR COVID test taken within 72 hours before the game, a rapid antigen COVID test taken within six hours before the game, or proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination. 

Furthermore, fan capacity was limited to 20%, and as a result, seating was spread out. Ropes were tied across the seats that were closed. My dad and I had a row to ourselves. 

Because of the limited capacity, I was able to take advantage of the full stadium experience that otherwise would have been difficult during regular times. For example, I visited Monument Park, a historical part of Yankee stadium, which is typically plagued with a prohibitively long line, but this time I didn’t wait longer than 10 minutes to enter. Also, during the game it was considerably easier to walk around the stadium and enjoy different views from various seating levels. Previously, the hallways would have been jam-packed with fans. 

Ultimately, the safety precautions did not take away from the experience. The fans were still loud and enthusiastic and even heckled the opposing team’s outfielders throughout the game despite being warned against it. As one fan made clear: it had been a long time since they had been at a game, so they were going to make it memorable. 

Personally, wearing a mask and making sure I maintained social distancing did not affect how I cheered for my team. I have become so accustomed to following COVID-19 precautions that they made no impact on how I enjoyed the game. 

Although the Yankees ended up losing, there’s nothing like sitting in a ballpark and enjoying a hotdog on a beautiful spring day.