Fenway Park To Open At Full Capacity For Saturday's Game

WBZ-TV's Nick Giovanni reports.

Video Transcript

- The biggest places we will see changes today is at Fenway Park, which will open at full capacity for this afternoon's game. WBZ's Nick Giovanni is live there with more. Nick?

NICK GIOVANNI: Anna, think about that for a second-- 25% capacity one day, 100% capacity the very next. Fenway is up first making that transition, and we're talking about a moment more than a year in the making. Cannot emphasize that enough when you think about what this day means, although it may not actually be a full house here when the Sox host the Marlins in the second of a three-game series at 4:10 this afternoon.

You'll notice fully vaccinated fans will not have to wear masks inside the ballpark, as is the case in most situations. Unvaccinated fans strongly encouraged to continue wearing a face covering. But getting back to more of what the game day experience once was pre-pandemic, the Sox won't be the only ones cashing in bigger crowds either.

JOE HICKS: It's huge. It's huge for us. It's everything. It's what we've always done, and we want to get back to it. It's a perfect storm of getting people to one area. It's going to test us, and we just have to be prepared. And we're going to do the best that we can. I guess that we just ask guests to be understanding, that it's our-- we're just getting warmed up.

NICK GIOVANNI: From today forward, as many as 38,000 fans could be inside Fenway, with even more watching from bars and restaurants around the ballpark, no longer facing capacity limits in their own right. In a rather fitting way to mark this milestone, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, former Harvard professor, chief of infectious disease at MGH back in the day, has been invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to help celebrate the state's reopening.

Now, meanwhile, at the Garden, we're told it's going to be near capacity starting tonight with game one of the Bruins' second round series against the Islanders. That means about 18,000 fans cheering on the black and gold tonight. And now, whether you're fully vaccinated or not, masks are still required at this particular venue unless you're actively eating or drinking. Tickets are still going to be mobile, and amenities in the arena are going to remain touch free, as home ice and home court advantage are back in play.

RYAN ACONE: Part of history, part of history. It'll be fun. It'll be fun. Everyone needs it. The players need it. The fans need it.

DANNY O'BRIEN: They're smiling. They're happy. Nobody's frowning and shying away anymore.

NICK GIOVANNI: The Celtics take the parquet for the first game in front of a near-capacity crowd Sunday night in game 4 against the Nets. But again, it all starts today at Fenway. When you think about the role the ballpark played in the pandemic serving as a mass vaccination site at one point, certainly a fitting way to get things started. And it's not just the ballpark that's going to be impacted by the restrictions being lifted today. We're going to be talking about all the bars, clubs restaurants down throughout this area, but especially down Landsdown here coming up in just a few minutes.