Fans welcomed back at full capacity on busy sports weekend

BOSTON — Masks will be required for all guests regardless of vaccination status unless your eating. Ticketed seats will no longer be physically distanced, there will be mobile tickets, and bags will not be allowed.

That’s what TD Garden will look like, but Fenway will look a little different. Masks are no longer required at Fenway for vaccinated fans.

“I think people will still wear them, places like restaurants will still require them so it’s not going to be ‘We are all together on this thing’ which is kind of a bummer,” said Jess Seabrook of Southie.

“I think we will wear it for a little bit, we still have to get our second dose of the vaccine,” said Alex Breton of Cambridge.

TD Garden says despite going from 25% capacity to 100%, it will be sufficiently staffed for almost 18,000 Bruins fans Saturday and another 17,000 Celtics fans Sunday.

The Red Sox say staffing numbers will be more than pre-Covid levels to support MLB guidelines for Restricted Areas.

“It’s gonna be fun,” said Winthrop resident Ben Houghton. “It’s going to be easier to get to games now, easier to buy tickets. It is really hard now to buy tickets because there’s only a couple.”

“I’m just looking forward to everybody just getting back to normal,” said his father, Dave. “What’s nice now is a little more room here at Fenway, but I’m just happy to get everybody back like we used to be with all the concessions open, long lines, jammed train you know everything the way it was.”

Between the three teams, there are two games every day this weekend and the businesses say win or lose, they are already celebrating.

“Honestly things have been kind of slow but we hope for a gigantic pickup come tomorrow people are excited to get out,” said Fenway sausage vendor Joe Addesa. “I don’t think any of this bad weather is going to stop anybody. I mean we’ve been through COVID now for well over a year so coming out right now is going to be child’s play compared to what we’ve been through so I’m just looking forward to seeing people come back to the parks, see old friends, so on and so forth, and sell some sandwiches.”

“It’s going to be interesting tomorrow,” said Ron Abbott of Guy Fieri Restaurant. “I imagine it being like a parade, the World Series or celebration or a coming-out party with the Bruins being the first game in the playoffs versus a New York team, it’s going to be exciting.”

And the Celtics especially will need the support with Sunday potentially being their first and last game of the season at full capacity.

“We went to a Sox game back in April, it had 12% capacity,” said Breton. “It was frigid and kind of dead so hopefully with some good playoff energy, and now it’s back in the Garden, it’ll be exciting. It is not ideal, but it’s going to be rocking Sunday to give them the energy to push it out further than this weekend.”

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