CLEVELAND — When the Cleveland Indians host their home opener at Progressive Field next month, they'll do so at 30 percent capacity.
But according to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, it may not be long until Cleveland's ballpark is allowed to fully reopen.
Speaking in East Cleveland on Friday, DeWine discussed the state's ongoing response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the road ahead. In doing so, he revealed that should Ohio remain on the right path, it's not unrealistic to think that outdoor stadiums -- including Progressive Field -- could be hosting fans at full capacity by July.
"I've described Opening Day in Cleveland -- Indians at 30 percent capacity, but we could be moving away from that by May 1," DeWine said. "I would hope by the time we get to July 4, we might be full capacity."
According to DeWine, whether that happens will come down to the ongoing distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"It depends on how many people get vaccinated," he said.
In a statewide address on Thursday, DeWine announced that he would drop all COVID-19-related health orders once Ohio dropped to 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people for a two-week period. That would include an order that went into effect earlier this week limiting the capacity of all outdoor entertainment events -- including sporting events -- to 30 percent and events at indoor facilities to 25 percent.
“We’re getting back to where we need to go, but we have to continue to stay focused," Gov. DeWine said on Friday. "As this goes on, we have to continue to wear the masks. We have to make sure that everyone who wants it has the opportunity to get the vaccine."