Life in Philly is about to feel a little more normal — and that includes Phillies games.
Philadelphia is lifting most COVID-19 restrictions on June 2 — though indoor masking requirements and the 11 p.m. dining curfew will remain until at least June 11.
But outdoor venues, like Citizens Bank Park can increase their capacity to 100%.
That means that the ballpark will be able to have some 43,000 fans packing the stands — a change the Phillies will make on June 4, when they begin a three-game series against the Washington Nationals. The increase in capacity will be in effect for the remainder of the season.
That’s a pretty big increase from the ballpark’s current cap of 16,000 fans. So now seems like a good as time as any to start planning a trip to see the Phils this season.
But what can you expect at Citizens Bank Park once Philly drops its COVID-19 restrictions? Here is what you need to know:
How do I get tickets?
Tickets for the remainder of the Phillies season are on sale now, and all ticketing is electronic. To get into the ballpark, you’ll need a mobile ticket barcode that staff will scan. You can still buy passes at the stadium’s ticket office — the tickets will just be electronic instead of paper, says Sal DeAngelis, director of operations and security at Citizens Bank Park.
You will need to download the MLB Ballpark app (it’s free) on your phone or tablet, and create an account. If you need help, the Phillies have an online FAQ to help guide you through the process.
How does seating work?
Starting June 4, “pod seating,” which allowed groups to sit together but physically distance from others, won’t be the primary seating method in the ballpark, and it will be more like regular stadium seating you’re used to.
The stadium will continue to offer limited physically distanced seating areas for folks who want some space from other fans. Online, the Phillies say that those seating areas will be located in sections 109, 139, 145, 303, 307, 328, 329, 428, 429 and 430. But DeAngelis says that the ticket office is still working out the details.
When should I show up to the game?
When the park moves to full capacity on June 4, the ballpark resumes entry at all gates (only half have been open at reduced capacity), and increases the amount of staff and screening lanes. So the wait time to get in should be fairly minimal. (DeAngelis said at reduced capacity, there has been little to no wait to get in, even with only half the gates open.)
Gates open 90 minutes prior to the first pitch, so if you want to get inside early and watch batting practice, show up early. “We want our fans to come early and enjoy batting practice, enjoy the ballpark,” DeAngelis says.
Is the screening process to get in any different?
In some ways, yes. But the ballpark is not doing temperature screening for fans or staff entering Citizens Bank Park, DeAngelis says. That said, if you have tested positive for COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms, or know you’ve been exposed recently, you should stay home.
One big change to the screening process: You can’t bring in bags or backpacks in most cases, save for diaper bags, medical bags, or purses. That change, DeAngelis says, was to reduce the number of times that staff had to touch fans’ belongings. So you’ll have to leave your backpack at home or stow it in your car.
If you didn’t drive and did bring a bag, though, you’re not out of luck. You can check your bag in a Bin Box locker on Citizens Bank Way for a $10 fee.
Can I tailgate the game?
Come June 4, tailgating will be allowed in parking lots south of Pattison Avenue. Fans are still encouraged to practice social distancing inside and outside the ballpark as much as possible. But there are no special rules or policies when it comes to tailgating.
“[It’s] the same as always — drink responsibly, and be safe,” DeAngelis says.
Do I need to wear a mask in the ballpark?
Yes and no — it depends on where you’re at, and if you’re vaccinated or not.
In general, you’re not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of the park — but unvaccinated fans are strongly encouraged to continue wearing masks.
If you head to an indoor area, such as a restroom or retail store, you’ll have to mask up regardless of your vaccination status. Those rules will not change come June 4.
“Until we get further direction from the city, we’re going to keep that policy,” DeAngelis says.
Can I bring in outside food?
Citizens Bank Park is not placing any additional restrictions on outside food. So feel free to bring a hoagie and soda if you don’t want to hit the concession stands. If you do bring food, it’s business as usual: No cans, glass bottles, or alcoholic beverages, and anything that you bring in a plastic container — like water, juice, or soda — needs to be factory sealed.
And while backpacks and bags aren’t allowed generally, you can tote your hoagie in a plastic bag, no worries. “Look, if somebody shows up with a Wawa bag with a sandwich in it, we’re not turning them away,” DeAngelis says.
Can I buy food and beer at the park?
Yes — but concessions are completely cashless (as is most merchandise), so you’ll have to pay with a credit or debit card. If you’ve only got cash, you can turn it in at a “reverse ATM” behind section 123 on the main concourse in exchange for a prepaid debit card.
Otherwise, most concession areas and stands will be open, and you can eat or drink in your seat or at drink rails around the park. Sit-down areas, such as Pass and Stow and Liberty Landing, will also be open, where you can sit down and enjoy some food and drink.
What’s still going to be closed?
While most attractions at the ballpark will be open on June 4, some aren’t coming back just yet, DeAngelis says. The Phanatic Fun Zone near the first base gate, and the Bullpen Speed Pitch and Phanatic Climbing Wall, both of which are located in The Yard in Ashburn Alley, will stay closed.
“Hopefully, as we keep moving along, more restrictions will ease and we can open up a little bit more,” DeAngelis says.
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Sal DeAngelis, director of operations and security at Citizens Bank Park.