Cleveland Indians fans finally got back to Progressive Field in April after 2020 was played in front of empty stadiums.
However, COVID-19 protocols remained in effect and limited capacity has been in place since the start of the season.
That is all changing starting June 2.
The news broke Tuesday afternoon.
Starting June 2, Progressive Field will return to full capacity and masks will be optional. Tickets for all remaining home games will go on sale starting next Wednesday, May 26, at 10 am ET.
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) May 18, 2021
This is quite the development as masks will no longer be required either.
Of course, anyone who feels more comfortable wearing one can still do that.
This announcement in general is major news as teams around the sports world figure out the best way to move forward.
Restrictions Lifted June 2
So this sure is some big news.
The Indians will actually be home June 1 and June 2, taking on the Chicago White Sox.
That June 2 game is a 1:10 ET start.
Back to full capacity at Progressive Field June 2! pic.twitter.com/GrISK9Fxgf
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) May 18, 2021
It remains to be seen if the Indians will open everything up that day.
An alternative is waiting until the team returns home June 11 to take on the Seattle Mariners.
That is a Friday night and the team can have a true Opening Day atmosphere if they want.
It goes without saying that plenty of fans are not going to feel comfortable attending a game where masks are not mandatory.
Plenty are also uncomfortable attending in general right now.
There is nothing wrong with that and the hope is that one day in the near future everyone can indeed attend a game and feel safe.
Changes Going Forward
There is still no guarantee that restrictions are gone for good.
The Indians are just going off the state guidelines and as we know, those can change.
But plenty of fans are going to be thrilled with this news.
What is the proper reaction?
That is a tough question to answer and one that goes much deeper than just the world of sports.
All fans can do is decide whether or not to attend games based on how they feel about the situation.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not over in any stretch and some may never attend a game again.
At some point it became clear there would have to be one day when mask restrictions were lifted.
That day is June 2 and it makes sense the Indians, a business operation, decided to open up as soon as possible.
The hope is that this opening will not result in any major COVID outbreak.
Rising vaccination rates likely helped this decision be made, so hopefully it ends up being a smart one.