The Union are making plans to allow fans in the stands at games, but don’t yet have a set date for when the gates will reopen.
“We will be implementing a series of strict protocols and safety measures to ensure the health and safety of our fans at Subaru Park and will make an announcement shortly with information on the first game that will be open to fans,” a team statement said.
Pennsylvania’s announcement of new rules on outdoor gatherings will allow venues of more than 10,000 fans to have a maximum occupancy of 15% of capacity, up to 7,500 people. At 18,500-seat Subaru Park, that would allow for up to 2,775 people to be in the stadium.
The rules take effect Friday, which means the first possible Union game with fans in attendance is Sunday’s 7:30 p.m. matchup against Montreal. But it’s not at all certain that the team will be ready to open the gates by then.
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If the Union are ready by Sunday, they would be the first team in the Philadelphia area to have fans at games again. The Eagles and Temple will be on the road this weekend, and also subject to the city of Philadelphia’s own rules. Pennsylvania’s announcement Tuesday said the city is allowed to have its own restrictions, but those don’t apply to the Union in Chester.
The Union’s next game is Wednesday at home against FC Cincinnati. Next they will host Montreal, then go on the road to play D.C. United and New England. Their next home games after Sunday are Oct. 24 vs. Toronto and Oct. 28 vs. Chicago.
“We know everyone has sacrificed in many ways,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement, “and today’s announcement reflects a gradual adjustment to our lives as we learn how we can do things safely until we have a cure, or an effective vaccine is widely available.”
The state rule requires teams to mandate that fans wear masks or face coverings and “comply with 6-foot social distancing requirements.” There must also be timed entries for fans and multiple entry and exit points, restrooms and other hygiene stations.
“We will closely monitor cases and outbreaks, and if our case investigation and contact tracing efforts determine that events or gatherings are the source of an outbreak, we can and will dial back these new limits,” Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said. “Public health and safety are our first concern and will always remain as such.”