In a significant announcement Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced indoor and outdoor sports and entertainment venues will be able to increase capacities for spectators.
DeWine said sporting and entertainment events will be able to reopen with 25 percent maximum indoor capacity and 30 percent maximum outdoor capacity, provided the venues follow established COVID-19 protocols.
“This is a start,” DeWine said. “If the situation improves in spring/summer, this could be expanded.”
The Dayton Dragons said they hope to have between 2,200 to 2,500 fans in the stands when the gates open for Opening Day in May.
“We’re very excited about that news today,” said Eric Deutch, vice president of the Dayton Dragons, adding that the team is still reviewing plans with the local health department. “Hopefully we’ll get to the higher end of those numbers.”
Deutch said the team is also looking at potential options to have fans on the lawn areas of the stadium.
Some of the protocols the state will require will include mandatory mask wearing for both employees and customers, social distancing on pathways around the venue and seating pods of no more than 6 people that are spaces out by at least six feet.
The Governor also said these facilities will be allowed to use lawns, standing room and infields as long as masks are worn and six-foot distancing can be marked and maintained.
“We are excited to welcome fans back to the ballpark to kick off the season on Opening Day,” said Phil Castellini, Cincinnati Reds President and Chief Operating Officer. “We thank Governor DeWine and the officials at the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County for their guidance and cooperation throughout the planning process.”
DeWine said more information will be included in the forthcoming health order.
The Governor promised upcoming guidance changes for proms, banquet centers wedding receptions, fairs, festivals and parades will be “ready soon.”