The Eagles and Phillies both made amendments to their stadium protocols Wednesday in accordance with the city’s new coronavirus safety precautions.
The Eagles announced that all fans and stadium staff attending games at Lincoln Financial Field are required to wear masks in indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status. The Phillies will also require fans to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status starting Thursday, according to a statement released Wednesday night.
Fans will not be obligated to wear masks outside in either case, but in a statement, the Eagles “strongly encouraged” unvaccinated guests to wear them unless actively eating or drinking. Indoor spaces at the stadium include club lounges, club lobbies, pro shops, elevators, and bathrooms, according to an email sent to ticket holders.
“All stadium guests and staff will be required to wear a mask when visiting indoor spaces at Lincoln Financial Field,” the statement reads. “Fans are not required to wear a mask outdoors; individuals who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at all times unless actively eating or drinking. Fans should bring their own masks to the stadium.”
Phil Laws, senior vice president and general manager of the Wells Fargo Center, said in a statement: “In compliance with Philadelphia’s city-wide mask mandate, all guests and arena employees will be required to wear a mask while inside Wells Fargo Center.”
The changes came in response after Mayor Jim Kenney announced the city’s new mask mandate, which requires face coverings in all indoor businesses or institutions unless everyone inside the venue can verify that they’re fully vaccinated.
The Eagles’ preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers is set for Thursday and will be the first time the team has played at the stadium without a capacity limit since 2019. The team had a public practice last Sunday and drew 25,896 fans, a far cry from the 7,500 fans who were allowed each game between Week 6-8 last season before a spike in cases led to a vacant stadium.
“It’s been a long journey for all of us over the past 18 months,” team president Don Smolenski said last week. “Not having our fans in full force last season was hard on everyone. Eagles fans bring this building to life. We cannot wait to hear and feel that heartbeat and that pulse as we come back together again.”
The Eagles’ regular-season home opener is scheduled for Sept. 19 against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Phillies’ indoor areas in Citizens Bank Park include the Diamond Club, team store, elevators, and restrooms, although an exception will be made for those eating or drinking in the Diamond Club.
The Flyers and 76ers, who play their home games at the Wells Fargo Center, next play there in the fall. The arena’s next live action is a roller skating event on Aug. 28.