The cardboard fans could soon be ejected from Citizens Bank Park as the Phillies are hoping to learn later this week if they can host actual fans for their season opener.

And they received some optimism Tuesday from the city.

“I can’t guarantee anything, but I can say that it’s likely that there will be some fans in the stands at the Phillies home opener,” said Health Commissioner Thomas Farley. “But how many is going to not only depend on us, but also what the state decides.”

The Phillies, 76ers, and Flyers sent proposals this month to the city, detailing their plans to welcome fans back. The city is currently not allowing spectators at sports events because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Farley said those restrictions are likely to be eased on March 1. The home opener is scheduled for April 1 against Atlanta.

The team’s proposals, Farley said, would allow more fans in the stands than the state is now allowing. Pennsylvania’s restrictions are currently capped at 500 people for indoor gatherings and 2,500 people for outdoor gatherings.

“We cannot be less restrictive than the state allows,” Farley said. “... I can’t guarantee that those requests would be granted because it would be up to the governor.”

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The Phillies will begin the regular season 19 months after they played their last home game with fans in the stands. They played 30 home games last season with cardboard cutouts in the seats, fake crowd noise pumped through the speakers, and a contingent of fans equipped with airhorns peeking nightly through a locked center-field gate.

The Phillies remained optimistic through the winter that they would have fans in attendance in 2021. They have not yet sold single-game tickets, but they are selling season-ticket packages that include April games.

“Well, I would love it,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said after being informed of Farley’s comments. “I think our players are going to love it, and I think our players are longing for it. As much as we love to play, we also love to play in front of fans that are passionate like the Philadelphia Phillie fans are. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Last week, the Phillies began selling tickets to spring training games in Clearwater, Fla. The team is selling just 2,200 tickets per game at the 8,500-seat stadium.

All tickets are sold in pods of two, three, or four seats. Each pod will be placed six feet apart and fans older than 2 years old must wear a mask “over their nose and mouth.” Players will not be permitted to sign autographs, concession stands will have plexiglass dividers, and hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the ballpark.

A similar plan can be expected at Citizens Bank Park if the Phillies are able to host fans.

“I want to go to a home opener as much as anybody,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “I wanted to go to spring training again this year. But I’m not going to go because I don’t think that it’s safe for me and my age and my situation. So yeah, I would love to see some people in the ballpark safely for opening day. It’s a wonderful beginning of spring and thawing out of all the things we’ve been through in the winter and the last year. I assume there will be conversations soon with the ball team.”

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