The Washington Nationals can play in Nationals Park but no fans will be allowed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the mayor's office told the team on Tuesday.
“With you, we are looking forward to fans returning to Nats Park. Answers as to how many and when are still premature,” wrote Christopher Rodriguez, the director of D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency.
Health officials will evaluate the impact of vaccines and new strains of the virus, and give the team an update on ticket sales this month, Rodriguez wrote.
We're making it easier for you to find stories that matter with our new newsletter — The 4Front. Sign up here and get news that is important for you to your inbox.
Davey Martinez, the Nats' manager, said Tuesday that he's eager to see fans in the stands again.
"It’s no secret, I’ve said it before: We miss our fans," he said. "They bring us a lot of energy. I’ve always said, they’re the 26th [or] 27th man. We want them in the stadiums."
The Nats pushed for fans to be allowed back in the ballpark, President and GM Mike Rizzo said last week.
“We’re certainly committed to hosting fans the safest way possible at the ballpark, and we believe that there’s proper protocols that we’ve all practiced — social distancing, mandatory masks. If those are in place, we can host a safe number of fans,” he said on 106.7 The Fan.
Major League Baseball allows teams to open their ballparks this season in accordance with state and local health guidelines. The Nats have made season ticket plans available for purchase but not single-game tickets.
Martinez said he hopes the District will re-evaluate the restrictions and allow fans by opening day on April 1.