CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs open their season at home at Wrigley Field on Thursday, while the Chicago White Sox open their season on the road, and fans should expect big changes whether they're hanging out at a bar, a Wrigley rooftop, or at the ballpark this season.
The stands at Wrigley Field will be filled to less than 25 percent capacity, meaning just 8,000 fans compared to normal crowds pushing 35,000 to 40,000.
The same crowd limitations will be in place at Guaranteed Rate Field on Thursday, April 8, when the White Sox host the Kansas City Royals. Tickets are being sold in groups, and those groups of fans will have to remain six feet apart.
"What we want to do is provide a safe experience so we can continue to keep this thing going," said White Sox Vice President Brooks Boyer.
The city has warned the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox that the ballparks might be closed if cases continue to climb.
Wrigley rooftop owners have to follow Chicago city guidelines for outdoor events, which means they will be limited to 50 percent capacity or no more than 100 people.
The city of Chicago is prepared to crack down on bars that don't enforce COVID rules including masks, capacity limits and social distancing.
"As business owners, as managers of these establishments, it is your responsibility to adhere to the guidelines," said Business and Consumer Protection Commissioner Rosa Escareno. "The violations are steep. Our goal is to actually not issue the violation."