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The COVID Influence: What the State’s Outdoor Summer Events Might Look Like

April 19, 2021

Take us out to the ballgame, or the concert or fair or festival. Just take us out.

It’s still vaccination season, but warm weather and outdoor events are starting to look like a shot of adrenaline. No, it won’t feel quite the same because of COVID-19 precautions even after Gov. Ned Lamont’s pledge to phase out all business restrictions by May 19, but it’s as close to normal it gets right now.

Here, as an example, is a preview of attending a Hartford Yard Goats game this summer at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford.


Connecticut now allows 50 percent capacity, up to 10,000 people, at outdoor venues. Assuming those guidelines remain unchanged, 3,000 fans will be allowed in the 6,121-seat stadium for the Yard Goats’ Eastern League home opener May 11 against the Portland Sea Dogs.

Notice the emphasis on social distancing. The COVID threat remains, even outdoors and even when many people in the stands have been vaccinated.

“They are still susceptible to getting an infection,” says Dr. Ulysses Wu, Hartford HealthCare’s System Director of Infection Disease and Chief Epidemiologist. “The most important thing is that we need to break the cycle of transmission.”


Tickets, delivered digitally, will be sold in pods of no more than six people. Each pod will be situated six feet from other seating-section pods. Printed tickets will be available the day of the game, starting one hour before gates open.

Tickets, personal items and bags will be scanned or inspected by staff without contact.

Bag Restriction

Avoid, whenever possible, bringing a bag into the stadium to reduce contact during security screening. Allowed: manufactured diaper bags for fans with infants and young children, medical bags and clutch purses (4.5 inches by 6.5 inches) for personal items.

COVID Protocols

All fans, age 2 and up, and staff must wear masks covering both the nose and mouth. You may remove the mask temporarily when eating or drinking in your seat. Extra hand-sanitizing stations have been added throughout the ballpark.

COVID Protocol Enforcement

Anyone violating COVID protocols will receive a reminder or warning. Repeated non-compliance will result in ejection from the stadium.


Only cashless or no-contact payment — such as fans handling their own credit cards — will be accepted. Use Apple Pay, Google Pay and a credit or debit card at the box office, Yard Goats Team Store and concession locations.


Expect a single entrance and exit to encourage one-way traffic in all concourse restrooms. Sinks, paper-towel dispensers and toilet flush valves will be outfitted with motion sensors to minimize contact.

Water Fountains

All water fountains will be closed. As in previous season, each fan can bring one sealed plastic water bottle into the ballpark.

Player Autographs

Player autographs and giveaways — such as a throwing a ball into the stands as a souvenir — have been suspended.