Sports arenas

Boston sports arenas to open for fans starting March 22

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics and Bruins will be able to play in front of a limited number of fans starting March 22, and the Red Sox could welcome more than 4,500 fans to Fenway Park on opening day.

Governor Charlie Baker announced Thursday that Massachusetts is moving to Phase IV of its coronavirus reopening plan, which will allow large indoor and outdoor stadiums and stadiums to admit up to 12% of their capacity.

“Opening day is in the near future,” Lt. Gov. Karen Polito said at a news conference in Salem.

The Bruins and Celtics ended their 2019-20 seasons last March when the pandemic hit the United States and found itself on the road in “bubble” environments established by their leagues. Their 2020-21 seasons started this winter at home but without fans.

The Bruins were scheduled to play in front of fans for the first time on Friday night, when they face the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden in front of 10% of capacity, or about 1,800 fans.

“That part, yeah, is positive,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Thursday. “And I would like that to happen again everywhere, if possible.”

Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, and Fenway Park were used as sites for mass vaccination. Baker said he doesn’t know what will happen with this ability when the sites resume their normal functions.


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