cubs opening day

Cubs Opening Day: What to Know as the Team and Fans Return to Wrigley Field

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The Chicago Cubs will return to Wrigley Field Thursday afternoon in the team's home opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues throughout the city, the Cubs will welcome a limited number of fans to watch the home opening game.

Here's what you need to know:

What time is the Cubs game?

The Chicago Cubs will face the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday at 1:20 p.m. at Wrigley Field.

How can I watch the Cubs game on TV?

Thursday's opener will be televised on Marquee Sports Network, with coverage beginning at 11 a.m. For a list of channels, click here.

How can I get to the game?

The Chicago Transit Authority announced "home run service" will be available throughout the 2021 Cubs season, providing several routes to Wrigley Field.

Chicagoans can take the following CTA lines to the team's home games: Red Line, Purple Line, Yellow Line, #152 Addition, #8 Halsted, #22 Clark, #36 Broadway, #80 Irving Park and #151 Sheridan.

What will change at Wrigley Field due to COVID-19?

The biggest change, naturally, is limited capacity at the Friendly Confines. Instead of 41,000-plus screaming fans in the ballpark, the Cubs and the city of Chicago have worked out a more limited seating arrangement, with fewer than 9,000 fans allowed in the stadium to start the season.

Those seats will be sold in “pods,” with one-to-four tickets available in each pod, according to the Cubs.

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.

For more on coronavirus restrictions inside Wrigley Field, click here.

What will the weather be like Thursday in Chicago?

Based on the latest forecast models, Thursday will likely be mostly sunny with high temperatures reaching the mid to high 30s, dropping throughout the evening. If heading to the game, meteorologists suggest dressing for a winter day in Chicago.

For a full forecast from NBC 5, click here.

Who will throw out the first pitch?

The Cub's home opener will kick off with two of Illinois' top doctors.

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.

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