Today, San Francisco will see its first large-scale ticketed public event since the beginning of the pandemic, when the Giants host the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park. The return of fans to pro sports marks the beginning of a broad reopening that could see many aspects of life in California go “back to normal” by mid-June. That is, if vaccinations continue apace and COVID-19 cases remain low.
The Giants are currently allowed to fill the stadium up to 22 percent capacity, or about 9,200 seats. That will allow pods of two or four seats to remain six feet apart from one another. All concessions will be done through a mobile app, and spectators must show proof of vaccine or a negative test to gain entry. Similar policies are in place by the A’s — minus the proof of vaccination or negative test — who have been hosting home games at the Oakland Coliseum over the past week.
With pro baseball getting back in the swing of things, two major reopening milestones await in the near future.
The first is April 15, when private indoor events will be permitted once again in San Francisco. That opens the door for seated concerts, conventions, and events at Chase Center. The Warriors plan to host fans for their final nine home games (barring a miraculous playoff run) beginning April 23. Fans will need to show proof of a negative test or vaccination to be one of the 6,300 fans allowed in the arena.
Concert venues can also begin hosting events at 35 percent capacity on April 15, although it remains unclear how many will find it worth it to bring in so few spectators.
Instead, many venue operators and other businesses are looking forward to June 15, the tentative date when California will retire its color-coded reopening system, and allow just about all activities to resume at full capacity. The state’s mask mandate would remain in force.
In order to reach that blessed day, California will have to keep up its good work when it comes to stopping the spread and getting vaccinated. The state now has one of the lowest transmission rates in the country and has delivered more than 20 million doses of the vaccine. In San Francisco, more than 50 percent of the adult population has received at least one dose, and new cases per day remain near historic lows, although they have been ticking up slightly in recent days.
In the meantime, San Franciscans are ready to “Play Ball!”