ST. LOUIS – Cardinals took the field Friday night against the Cincinnati Reds for the first Friday night home game at Busch Stadium this season.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force Leader Dr. Alex Garza announced Friday that restrictions will likely stay in place until more people in the metro area get vaccinated. This means the number of fans allowed at Cardinals games in the future is unclear, for now.
“To stop the virus from spreading, and to get back to a more normal way of life, we really need a substantial percentage of the community vaccinated, so-called herd immunity,” Dr. Garza said.
A return to normal would mean more than 40,000 fans inside Busch Stadium watching a Cardinals game. Right now, the capacity is still around 14,000, which is how the team started the season at the beginning of April.
Cardinals Multimedia Communications Strategist Carson Shipley said there has not been any talk internally of when capacity restrictions could be loosened.
“We do know that May will have the same capacity restrictions as April,” Shipley said. “Any changes in capacity restrictions would have to be approved by the city and the Health Department of course, but we are holding out hope that we may be able to welcome more fans in the near future.”
Many fans we talked to while heading into the Busch Stadium Friday night said they thought the Cardinals were responsible for limiting capacity.
“I think honestly the team has to do it until they feel like we are at the point collectively until it’s safe for people to sit right next to each other again,” Cardinals fan Bob Hickman said. “I wish there were 40,000 people in the stands. It would make it a lot more fun. Blues games, same thing. There’s so much more energy when you have a full crowd so I desperately miss that.”
Some fans also said they can’t wait for more people to come watch the game, and hopefully a win, inside.
“The atmosphere when this stadium is full is amazing. I think the crowd has an impact on the game, it has to have an impact on the players. I’m sure they like playing in front of a full crowd that’s excited and cheering instead of a reduced or no crowd,” Cardinals fan Doug Parker said.
Some said they were happy to get back to a somewhat normal life, but are concerned if not everyone is getting the vaccine and how people will prove they are vaccinated.
“I just don’t know how we are going to regulate this, like am I going to have to keep my vaccination card on me all the time? How does that work? Will I need to show it with my ID?” Cardinals Fan Robert Fraga said.