WASHINGTON — Fans will be able to attend more professional sporting events in the District amid a new order from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's office, according to emails and statements released to teams in the area.
Nats Park and Audi Field (D.C. United stadium) will now be able to hold up to 25% of their capacity. Capital One Arena can open up at a 10% capacity level for Capitals and Wizards games, which equates to 2,100 fans per game.
The Wizards will welcome back fans during their game against the Golden State Warriors on April 21. The Capitals will host fans when they play the New York Islanders on April 27. This will be the first time Capital One Arena will be open to fans since March 2020. Both teams will honor DMV first responders, frontline and essential workers of the COVID-19 response during their first games back with fans.
“Our fans fuel everything our players and teams accomplish, and they have been deeply missed,” Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder/CEO Ted Leonsis said. “Our country has been through great stress over the past year, and it has taken a mental toll on all of us, but we know that sports are a great healer. So, we thank Mayor Bowser and her team for approving our vigorous health and safety plan so that some of our passionate Caps and Wizards fans may gather – with the first games being attended by some of our incredible first responders and frontline COVID-19 workers.”
Masks and social distancing will be required for all fans who want to attend games. Fans will be asked a series of questions about their health when entering Capital One Arena, and tickets will be sold in pods of one to four seats, with six feet of space between each pod. Capitals season ticket members will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets through a pre-sale for remaining home games. For additional information about Capital One Arena's COVID protocols, click here.
The Washington Nationals were able to have up to 5,000 fans at their Opening Day game, a number that star pitcher Max Scherzer said was too small of a crowd for how big Nationals Park is. Scherzer said he felt like the stadium could host more people, while still allowing for social distancing.
"I don't understand why there weren't fans in the upper deck, I don't understand why we can't have more fans here," a frustrated Scherzer said. "I understand that we need to be safe. I respect the virus. But we can also have fans in the top part of the deck, and we can have more fans in here safely. So, I would love an explanation."
Bowser's office has been adamant that more fans will be able to get into the stands of sporting events as more rollbacks of COVID-19 rules continue.
May 1 will bring some of the biggest tests of rollbacks for the Bowser administration's COVID-19 rules when many capacity limits for entertainment venues, special events, pools, recreational activities, retail stores, libraries and museums will be increased.
Starting May 1, the following COVID-19 changes will go into effect for the District:
- Seated live entertainment venues will reopen, both indoors and outdoors, with a capacity limit of 25% or 500 people -- whichever is less
- Movie theaters can reopen at 25% capacity
- Live music will be allowed near outdoor restaurant seating
- Weddings and special events, business meetings and conventions can operate at 25% capacity or 250 people -- whichever is less
- Graduations will be allowed, with limits
- Non-essential retail will operate at 50% capacity indoors and outdoors
- Libraries, museums and galleries can reopen at 50%, both indoors and outdoors
- Indoor and outdoor public pools, in addition to indoor recreation centers, can reopen at 50%
- Outdoor races, such as 5K races, can resume at 50% capacity
- Outdoor splash pads can reopen at full capacity