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May 4—The Pittsburgh Pirates called Gov. Tom Wolf's announcement that the state's covid-19 mitigation orders will be lifted on Memorial Day "exciting and welcomed news" for their fans and community.
The Pirates, who weren't permitted to have fans in attendance for their 30 home games last season, are following Wolf's orders and allowing 25% capacity crowds this year. They drew 30,363 for their five-game homestand last week at PNC Park, an average of 6,073 a game. Their largest crowd this season was for the home opener April 8, with an announced sellout of 7,749.
"We are thrilled to be able to open up more opportunities for fans to safely reconnect through the Pittsburgh summertime tradition of Pirates baseball," Pirates president Travis Williams said in a statement. "This is another major step for all of us in overcoming this pandemic."
Wolf also said the state's masking order will be lifted once 70% of adults are fully vaccinated. The Pirates require fans to wear face masks at all times, except when actively eating or drinking at the ballpark. Williams said the club will announce details on capacity limitations and safety protocols at PNC Park "in the coming days."
"While the state will still require everyone inside PNC Park to wear face masks, we encourage all adults to get vaccinated in order to remove the mask mandate," Williams said, thanking Wolf, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor Bill Peduto and state, county and local health officials "for their continued leadership as we navigate through the ongoing impact of this pandemic."
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .