|Posted:||March 17, 2021 03:15 PM|
|From:||Representative Mark Rozzi and Rep. Jim Gregory|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Increasing Capacity of Minor League Baseball Stadiums|
|On average, minor league baseball teams lost $2 to $5 million last year as the entire 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of now, the 2021 season is slated to be played but will be delayed by a few weeks, further driving the losses of the past year. These losses affect local economies that rely on the draw of minor league baseball as well as everyone directly associated with the teams.
Recently, Governor Wolf announced that in early April, capacity for outdoor events will be increased to 50 percent. This is great news for the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates, who play in stadiums large enough to accommodate sizeable crowds even under restrictions. For minor league ballparks, however, this increase is not enough when social distancing requirements are considered. To comply with the six feet of physical distance guidance, minor league ballparks can come nowhere near the 50 percent allowable capacity.
To help fix this problem, I will be introducing legislation to drop social distancing requirements within minor league baseball stadiums from six feet to three feet. A recent study in the journal “Clinical Infectious Diseases” finds that three feet of distance, combined with mask wearing and other safety measures, is just as safe as six feet. In fact, the World Health Organization now recommends one meter of distance, which equates to 3.3 feet. The study recently received the backing of Dr. Anthony Fauci as well.
Minor league baseball is important not only to the local economies in which they sit, but to a population weary of sitting at home for the past year and looking for an outlet for entertainment and socialization. By increasing the number of fans allowed in these stadiums, we can simultaneously bring back revenue for the teams and provide some respite for Pennsylvanians who have done their part in helping us round the corner in the battle against COVID-19.
Please join me in support of this important legislation.
Introduced as HB1141