ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Health officials are working to allow more spectators at outdoor sporting and entertainment venues, including at M&T Bank Stadium and FedEx Field, to safely attend games in the stands, Gov. Larry Hogan said Friday.
“With our key health metrics low and stable, we are taking steps to allow more spectators, including fans of the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Football Team, to safely attend games in the stands,” Gov. Hogan said. “It remains important to continue following all of the mitigation measures and public health protocols that keep us safe, including wearing masks and practicing physical distancing.”READ MORE: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Fires Controversial Flutist Who Had Spread Conspiracy Theories
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Venues, including the football stadiums for the Ravens and the Washington Football Team, will be limited to 10% capacity. M&T Bank Stadium has a total capacity of 71,008, so under the new rules, a maximum of roughly 7,100 people could fill the stands and the field.
In a statement Friday, evening, the Ravens said, “We received Governor Hogan’s order today updating limits for outdoor sporting venues, which would allow up to 10% of total capacity. We have contacted Mayor Young’s office to discuss Governor Hogan’s order.”
The mayor’s office said they are aware of the governor’s executive order and are, “working with community stakeholders to accommodate these new adjustments safely for all residents and visitors of Baltimore City.”READ MORE: No New Mask Mandate Despite Surge In COVID-19 Cases, Gov. Larry Hogan Says
Terry Hasseltine, the Executive Director of the Maryland Sports Commission, said the added capacity is welcome news.
“I think it’s a vehicle that allows people to get back into a little bit normal perspective of their life where they can go into a ballpark, or in this case, we’re talking about the NFL,” Hasseltine said. “They’re able to get back and cheer on their favorite team.”
Local sports fans and concert-goers are divided on whether or not this is the right approach.
“Cases are on the rise, so I’m a little bit surprised that they would be willing to take that step because it’s a ton of people in a small area,” Andrew White, a Baltimore City resident, said.
“Being a person who likes events, who loves concerts, as long as it’s safe, I think it’s great,” Martin Coade, a Baltimore City resident, said.MORE NEWS: Coast Guard Seeks Man Who Fell Off Sailboat Near Annapolis
Fans and spectators will be required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Plus, large gatherings like tailgating, will not be allowed.