One of the bigger questions for the 2021 MLB season has been how quickly and to what degrees will fans return to the park. It was always very clearly going to depend on each individual locality with local regulations and each city’s COVID-19 situation varying widely. Hell, the Toronto Blue Jays are still having to play home games outside of their home country for at least another month or so.
However, with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in full swing, teams have been eager to increase their stadium capacity and get those revenue streams rolling again. The Braves had already announced one capacity increase (due to more optimized pod seating plans) and teams like the Royals and Mets (among others) have begun increasing crowd sizes as well. Now, it looks like the Braves are going big.
The Braves announce that they will resume normal seating capacity at Truist Park on Friday, May 7 pic.twitter.com/k1pu3XZlM2— Kris Willis (@Kris_Willis) April 28, 2021
This was pretty inevitable once the COVID-19 vaccine was made widely available to the masses. The Braves have been more aggressive than many teams with trying to get fans back out to the park and The Battery and they do have a good number of safety protocols in place for fans not to mention a pretty open floor plan of for Truist Park. In this day and age, it is always somewhat concerning to see large crowds together because no one wants anyone to get seriously ill because of a baseball game, but the demand exists and with vaccinations climbing daily, the assumed risk does decline.
As a result, starting May 7th, 2021, Truist Park will be back at full capacity starting against the Phillies. There will obviously be an initial crush of people once it first reopens completely, but this should also be an interesting case study as to how attendance will look across baseball during the (hopefully) waning months of a pandemic.