As the state of Illinois moves into Phase 5 of its coronavirus reopening plan, the Chicago Cubs will celebrate “Opening Day 2.0” this weekend at Wrigley Field, welcoming back fans at 100% capacity and hosting a series of special events throughout their three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Friday’s festivities at the ballpark, which will feature a group of Cubs legends and legendary comedian Bill Murray, will kick off three days of fun at the Friendly Confines, the team announced in a press release.
Ticketing, Seating Changes Implemented Beginning Friday
Several significant changes will take place at the ballpark on Friday, including the move to full capacity for the first time since 2019. Fans will still be required to have mobile tickets to enter the ballpark, and touchless entry will still be in place, meaning that fans will not be allowed to carry bags into the stadium.
Season-ticket holders will be permitted to return to their normal seats, and the iconic bleachers will switch back to general admission seating, the team says.
Pod-style seating will be eliminated, and physical distancing will no longer be required in the ballpark.
Gates will open two hours prior to first pitch, according to the team.
Cashless transactions will also continue.
‘Opening Day 2.0’ Events
Friday will mark a massive celebration at Wrigley Field, and the Cubs are really treating it like they do Opening Day.
Before the game, the Cubs’ flagship TV station, Marquee Network, will host its pregame show from Gallagher Way beginning at noon. The JC Brooks Band will also perform outside of the ballpark, the team says.
On the field, season-ticket holders and Cubs employees will take the field for the flag presentation before the game, and the Chicago Cubs Dixieland Band will perform prior to first pitch. Jon Vincent will sing the National Anthem.
That first pitch will be delivered by a group of Cubs Hall of Famers, as Andre Dawson, Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith and Billy Williams will all deliver ceremonial tosses before the game.
For the seventh-inning stretch, Cubs fans will be encouraged to sing along with legendary comedian Bill Murray, the team says.
Other Weekend Festivities:
Saturday’s game at Wrigley Field will mark the first time that the team will wear their new Nike City Connect jerseys and hats. To celebrate the occasion, the team has given away pairs of tickets to residents of each of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods for the game.
The team will also honor the group Young Chicago Authors prior to the game, with a member of the group joining Miss Illinois Olivia Pura in throwing out the first pitch.
Sunday’s game, which will be aired nationally on ESPN, will feature recording artist Dan Navarro as the national anthem singer, the team says.