What Do Minnesota’s COVID Changes Mean for Sports Fans?
With yesterday's announcement by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz that the State has a phased plan to rollback COVID-19 restrictions beginning today, let's take a look at what that could mean for Minnesota sports fans.
One of the things that has been near the top of my 'Things I Miss' list for past fifteen months is a Minnesota Twins day game at Target Field. A ride down on the Northstar Line. Sunshine and eighty degrees. A couple of cold beers. A bratwurst or two. I miss that. Now, we might be in luck.
Minnesota Twins at Target Field
It sounds like the Twins should be able to open Target Field to full capacity if they want as early as their next home series when they return to Minneapolis to host the Oakland Athletics on May 14th, 15th, and 16th. As of today, there are no longer any capacity restrictions for outdoor events. Fans would still be required to wear masks at the games unless fewer than 500 fans show up (which is a distinct possibility of the Twins don't get this season turned around).
Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center
Things are a bit different when you move indoors. Capacity limits are still in place, but are a bit higher as of today. The new capacity limit is 25%, which at the Xcel Energy Center would mean 5,500 crazy hockey fans just in time for the playoffs. Masks will still be required. On May 28th, the Xcel Energy Center can return to full capacity with masks. Let's hope the Wild are still playing.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center
The rules for the Timberwolves at Target Center will be the same as they are for the Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. At 25% capacity the maximum allowed crowd would be about 5,000 -- and could take effect as early as May 13th against the Denver Nuggets. Only three home games remain this season.
Saint Cloud Rox at Joe Faber Field
Closer to home, the Saint Cloud Rox are looking forward to their home opener on Friday, June 4th at Joe Faber Field against the Duluth Huskies. Much like the Twins, the newly adjusted COVID restrictions would allow full attendance, which equates to roughly 2,000 fans, with masks required.
Governor Walz also said today that the statewide mask mandate would expire when 70% of eligible Minnesotans become fully vaccinated, or July 1st, whichever comes first.
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