BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The next time the Baltimore Ravens take to the field for a home game, they’ll be able to have fans in the stands.
Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young has approved a plan allowing the team to have thousands of fans at M&T Bank Stadium for the team’s rivalry match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers.READ MORE: Friends, Family Remember Lost Baltimore Firefighters In Procession To Funeral Homes
Under the plan, the team will be able to have up to 3,000 fans in lower bowl seats as well as having 500 fans in suites and 800 in the club level for a total of 4,300 fans. The upper bowl will remain closed “until further notice,” the team said.
“I have reviewed the Ravens’ plan to return fans to the stadium pursuant to the Governor’s recent executive order, and I am pleased to announce we will be allowing fans at the next game,” Young said in a statement Friday morning. “This exception takes into consideration the amount of thought and detail put into the Ravens’ protocols, as well as the size of the location and distancing possible.”
In a statement, Ravens president Dick Cass said “we are excited to welcome fans back to M&T Bank Stadium.”
Statement from the Ravens on hosting fans at M&T Bank Stadium. pic.twitter.com/VcwibTYNZH
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 23, 2020
Under an order from Gov. Larry Hogan, capacity is limited to 10%, which would allow for just over 7,000 people to be inside the stadium.READ MORE: Advocates Call For Eviction Moratorium For Afghan Refugees In Baltimore As They Wait On Documents, Benefits
The team opened a ticket lottery for season ticket-holders earlier this week after Hogan approved the plan but before the city gave the final thumbs up. The fulfillment process began Thursday.
Terry Hasseltine, with the Maryland Sports Commission, said the stadium is working to make sure that fans enter and exit safely and social distance before, during and after the game.
“It’s a positive step in the right direction and you have to do it with the right protocols in place or there might not be another opportunity,” Hasseltine said.
WJZ caught up with Sliders Bar and Grill in downtown Baltimore. The owner said the restaurant is looking forward to the return of fans both to the stands and to favorite local establishments.
“It would be refreshing to have a larger Ravens crowd because they really are intent on cheering for their team,” Rachel Sheubrooks, Owner of Sliders Bar and Grill, said.
Tailgating in the parking lots or within 1,000 feet of the stadium, however, is not permitted.MORE NEWS: Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh Released From Prison Early
After their bye week, the Ravens will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, November 1. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.