Sox promoting vaccination for fans with capacity increase originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
More vaccinated fans, more fans in the ballpark at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The White Sox were approved to increase their capacity for home games to 60 percent beginning May 24, and along with letting more fans through the gates, they're encouraging those fans who have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to do so.
"We're seeing it, and the city's proving it: The more people get vaccinated, the more things are opening up," White Sox vice president Brooks Boyer said Thursday. "Our message, we want full crowds. This team has earned full crowds.
"Our message is going to be: Get vaccinated, because we want to get to 100 percent capacity at the ballpark."
General manager Rick Hahn had a similar message to fans when White Sox players, coaches and traveling staff were vaccinated earlier this season, pointing to the large buy-in by the team as a positive message to the South Side community, the City of Chicago and fans everywhere.
Now, with more fans coming to the ballpark, the White Sox will go further in encouraging fans to get vaccinated.
For this weekend's four-game set against the Kansas City Royals, there will be two vaccinated-only sections of the ballpark, which be at 100-percent capacity, with no social distancing required for fans who provide proof of full vaccination.
Beginning May 24, the White Sox will be offering two vaccination sites in the ballpark, with fans who receive vaccines also receiving a $25 gift card for use inside the stadium. Additionally, the team will promote vaccinations to the public through scoreboard and public-address announcements, in-game reads by announcers, ballpark signage, the message board that can be seen from the expressway and social-media platforms.
It's a host of efforts to encourage vaccination to benefit the community while simultaneously returning the gameday experience on the South Side to normal.
"It's really nice to get our fans back in here to see this team play," Boyer said. "The team has been a lot of fun to watch. Our crowds, even at lower capacity, have been massively energetic and (we) just can't wait to get a bigger group of people.
"Obviously, it's seeing a little bit (of light) at the end of what's been a long time. But to get 60 percent is awesome. We look forward to getting our full force of fans."
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