Cubs planning for reduced capacity at Wrigley Field in 2021
Wrigley Field has sat empty devoid of fans throughout the abbreviated 2020 MLB season, as has been the case with every ballpark across the league due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chicago Cubs, however, became one of the first teams to reportedly acknowledge that the coronavirus pandemic is likely to continue to negatively impact fan attendance next year.
The Cubs acknowledged that it is unlikely Wrigley Field will be at full capacity at any point during the 2021 MLB season, sources tell Jesse Rogers of ESPN. The realization is said to be based on “advice from medical experts, as well as restrictions because of local ordinances,” Rogers writes.
Deliberations on how to approach the situation are ongoing, but it’s a possibility that only season-ticket holders will be able to attend games next season at Wrigley Field.
Season-ticket holders will likely get first priority on procuring seats. It stands to reason, then, that with them accounting for 50% of all ticket holders and that percentage being what the Cubs expect for capacity at best, it’s conceivable tickets will not be available to other fans.
The Cubs, like all MLB teams, have taken a significant financial hit due to the circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic. The organization expects to lose 75% of its projected revenue in 2020, which amounts to somewhere between $125 million to $140 million.
The financial straits MLB teams find themselves in due to the ongoing pandemic obviously means all 30 organizations will attempt to maximize revenues in 2021, and a significant component of recouping these losses of course would be to get fans back in ballparks.
Given the uncertainty of when a COVID-19 vaccine may be widely available, MLB teams will have to take a wait-and-see approach to how things may go next season when it comes to welcoming fans.
As things stand for the Cubs, while the team hopes Wrigley Field will be at full capacity at some point during the 2021 season, it is resigned to the fact that fans will not be in full force at the iconic ballpark for as long as the pandemic dictates.