'Stay Tuned,' Baker Says On Possibility Fans Will Soon Be Allowed In Massachusetts Stadiums

Gov. Charlie Baker was asked if it would be possible to bring back fans at stadiums in the near future. WBZ-TV's Mike LaCrosse reports.

Video Transcript

- Fans are returning to sporting events in New York City for the first time since the pandemic began. And the move has people here in Boston asking, are we next? WBZ's Ken MacLeod looks into the possibility of a crowd cheering on teams in Massachusetts.

KEN MACLEOD: The next game here at the Garden is the Celtics and Pacers on Friday night with the seats empty. But fans are closely watching the Big Apple and wondering if Boston is next.

Enthusiasm at open air Fenway--

- I'm chomping at the bit. Yeah, I'm ready to go.

KEN MACLEOD: --tempered by concern at Boston's indoor venue.

- I think we should wait. Let's wait. Let's wait, get more people vaccinated, be 100% sure.

[CHEERING]

KEN MACLEOD: But tonight, New York green-lighted both its pro basketball teams to allow fans, up to 10% of capacity. The fans of all tested negative in the last 72 hours and cleared an online questionnaire. But they also got a rapid test and temperature check at the door.

- Feeling very emotional, very anxious. As excited as I am, I have no clue what to expect.

KEN MACLEOD: All tickets are digital. Different entrances are assigned, and the arenas are cashless with small groups of fans masked and spread out. The Bruins play Thursday night against the Islanders in New York where they will encounter fans for the first time this winter.

BRANDON CARLO: I'm really excited that that's starting to happen. You know, it's great to have the fans, and we miss them a lot. So that'll be a fun adjustment.

KEN MACLEOD: As for the Garden, Fenway, and Gillette, the Patriots may have tipped their hand with a letter to season ticket holders today saying they're "very optimistic" about fans by season start and hopeful it'll be at full capacity. Pro sports venues are in phase four of reopening. And the governor was asked today if real spectators are just around the corner.

CHARLIE BAKER: Stay tuned.

KEN MACLEOD: That might well be a veiled yes. But this double masked Sudbury dad told me he won't be buying any tickets yet.

- I got two young kids at home. And we've got to be safe, got to protect ourselves.

KEN MACLEOD: The garden is dropping no hints tonight on a timeline to return fans, saying only that it's working with city and state health officials. At the Garden tonight, Ken McLeod, WBZ News.