MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz hasn’t given specifics on when the state will roll back COVID-19 restrictions, but he said Tuesday a decision about fans returning to Target Field will come within days.
The Twins want fans, especially after welcoming them during spring training. Matt Hodson is the team’s senior manager of business communications.READ MORE: Hallie Q. Brown Helps Vaccinate Rondo Neighborhood
“I don’t think we realized quite how much we missed it, how much that means to our great game until we were able to have it back,” Hodson said.
Walz described what factors into a possible announcement.
“These variants are the thing that keep playing into this because we’re moving with decisions that need to be made,” Walz said. “The Twins need to know how many tickets they’re going to sell for Opening Day on April 8, and we want to give them that certainty. We want to base it on the science.”
Walz also mentioned test positivity rate. Minnesota’s seven-day average is 2.5%, similar to Illinois, which is at 2.3%. It’s been announced that the Chicago Cubs and White Sox can have fans at 20% capacity.
New York, with a 4% seven-day average, is allowing 10% of fans.READ MORE: CDC: Minnesota Has 4th Highest COVID Case Rate In U.S.
California’s tier system allows for 20% of fans in counties with positive test rates below 8%.
Those states also have confirmed cases of COVID variants.
Like the Twins, executives with the Minnesota Wild say they’ve been actively talking to Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health about plans to welcome fans back safely. Maria Troje is the Wild’s vice president of customer service and retention.
“We’re still waiting on data and more information, but there is hope,” Troje said. “We can all feel that things are getting better.”
A spokesperson for the governor said in a statement, “Gov. Walz is eager to get back to Target Field. If Minnesotans continue to work hard to keep the virus under control while vaccinations ramp up, we’re optimistic we can get fans back in the stands in some capacity this season. The Administration will remain in close communication with the Twins.”MORE NEWS: COVID In Minnesota: 2,659 New Cases, 10 Deaths Reported; 7-Day Positivity Rate Rises To 6.6%
If fans are allowed, both the Twins and Wild say they’re prepared to have spaced-out seating, app-based ordering for concessions and other COVID-friendly protocols.