Yankee Stadium capacity for Opening Day puts us on road to normalcy

Yankee Stadium, standing alone (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Yankee Stadium, standing alone (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

After being locked out of Heaven for a year and a half, Yankees fans are having a Bruno Mars-style resurgence in 2021.

Why the Bruno Mars reference in the lede? Look, we’re all coping with the pandemic in different ways.

The 2020 season looked starkly different in the Bronx, with local businesses shuttering, strange cut-outs taking the place of cheering locals, and BX newcomers like Gerrit Cole forced to stare at empty swaths of seats where there should have been an adoring mob.

On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo took another big step towards erasing all memory of that unfortunate reality — though many fans wish he would’ve gone further.

Alongside CC Sabathia and Al Leiter in a bipartisan announcement (technically, Leiter worked for YES, so double Yankees), Cuomo announced changes to his current regulations for outdoor gatherings, altering Yankee Stadium and Citi Field capacities just two weeks before Opening Day.

These stadiums will now be able to allow 20% of their total potential number of fans, provided fans can prove either proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Yankee Stadium capacity for Opening Day

Now, the “negative test proof” feels like a little bit of rear-end-covering false hustle; after all, what can a negative test from the past several days really tell us about a person’s more recent history, or even their transit to the game?

This also has us wondering about what type of restrictions will be loosened once the vaccination cards begin to be more prevalent. With proof of vaccination, will fans still be required to wear a mask? How restrictive will seating “pods” be?

Though some may be slightly disappointed with just over 10,000 attendees at all first-wave Yankees games (with first purchase priority going to season ticket holders), remind yourself it could be so much worse.

You could be some sort of split Mets-Yankees fan hybrid like Gov. Cuomo proved to be on Thursday.

What…the hell…is that?

As he always does, CC Sabathia said it best at the Yankee Stadium capacity press conference:

"“As a fan now, being able to be in the stadium cheering on the Yankees, I’m just excited. Continue to get vaccinated, do the right things and let’s continue to battle this thing so by the end of the season we can have a full stadium for the World Series.”"

People, get ready. The momentum is real, and a return to semi-normalcy isn’t far-fetched. Keep working hard, and get yourself to the stadium. The boys need you more than ever.

Especially because the Orioles are opening the season with a higher attendance threshold. Stupid Orioles.