The Cubs home opener will kick off Thursday with Chicago and Illinois' top doctors throwing out the first pitch, featuring a special appearance from the city's mayor.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot will hand over the ceremonial baseballs to Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, both of whom will throw the opening pitch at Thursday's Cubs game.
The health officials will line up alongside Advocate Aurora Health leaders, who will be at the team's opening game as a way to thank workers for their guidance through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cubs announced.
The team reserved the Budweiser Bleachers for vaccinated health care workers and employees of Advocate Aurora Health, who will also be receiving a free t-shirt to wear during the game.
The Cubs will play to a limited number of fans Thursday at 1:20 p.m. against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. Due to coronavirus mitigations, several new protocols will be in place, a release noted.
As a way to minimize physical interactions amid the pandemic, officials said there will be a touchless entry process including mobile tickets and mobile ordering for concessions.
Bathrooms inside the ballpark will be equipped with touch-free fixtures and mobile handwashing stations, according to a release. Wrigley Field suites, the enclosed club spaces around the field, will have air purifiers, as well.
All fans entering the ballpark on Opening Day will receive a KN95 mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer from Advocate Aurora Health, the team added.