SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners, Seattle Sounders and OL Reign will soon be able to welcome a limited number of fans to the stadium when they open their seasons.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a 25% limit on seating capacity for spectators as the state prepares to move into Phase 3 of the COVID-19 economic reopening plan.
The Mariners released the following statement Thursday, "The team has received approval from the State of Washington and King County to host up to 9,000 fans per game at T-Mobile Park beginning with Opening Night on Thursday, April 1."
“We have been working closely with state and local officials the past several months to get ready for this day,” said John Stanton, Seattle Mariners Chairman and Managing Partner. “The health and safety of our fans, players and employees is our number one consideration. With the guidance of experts and best practices for health and safety, we are thrilled to be able to welcome fans back to T-Mobile Park for the first time since 2019.”
The expanded capacity also applies to high school sports, motorsports, rodeos and other similar outdoor events that have permanent seating.
Expanded capacity for high school and youth sports will start March 18, while the remainder will take effect on March 22, when all of the state’s 39 counties will move to a newly created Phase 3.
Under this newest phase, all indoor spaces — including indoor dining at restaurants — can increase capacity from 25% to 50%.
Inslee also announced on Thursday that Washington state will expand eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine starting March 17.
Anyone eligible in Tier 2 of Phase 1B can get a coronavirus shot starting Wednesday, March 17, which is five days earlier than the state previously planned.
That group includes critical workers who work in certain congregate settings, such as grocery stores, agriculture, schools and child care, corrections, transit and law enforcement.
Also on Thursday, President Joe Biden directed states to make the vaccine available to all adults by May 1.
That’s according to two senior administration officials who briefed reporters ahead of Biden’s evening address on the one year anniversary of the pandemic. The officials say the president will also say that there is a good chance Americans will be able to safely gather in small groups by July 4.