Philadelphia to expand gathering limits effective Friday, allowing Eagles fans to return to stands

The City of Philadelphia will be expanding occupancies for both indoor and outdoor events, effective Friday, following expansions at the state level.

The decision means a few thousand Eagles fans will be able to return to Lincoln Financial Field this Sunday. 

On Oct. 6, Gov. Tom Wolf announced changes to the limits on the number of people allowed at events and gatherings across the state, as Philadelphia stood firm on their capacities.

As of Friday, Oct. 16, Philadelphia will also be expanding their occupancies, though they will still be more restrictive than the state on what is permitted in indoor settings.

Philadelphia will follow similar principles to the state in having maximum event sizes dependent on the space the event occupies, and indoor events will have lower limits than outdoor events. 

City officials have provided a chart to determine maximum occupancies for both indoor and outdoor events.

Indoor event occupancies will be determined as follows:

  • Maximum occupancy of 0-2,000: 10% of maximum
  • Maximum occupancy of more than 2,000 people- 10% of maximum up to 250 people
  • No seating or maximum undefined – 10 persons per 1,000 square feet up to 250 people.

Outdoor event occupancies will be calculated as follows:

  • Maximum occupancy of 0-2,000 – 20% of maximum
  • Maximum occupancy of 2,001-10,000 – 15% of maximum occupancy
  • Maximum occupancy of over 10,000- 15% occupancy up to 7,500 people
  • No seating or maximum undefined - above percentage of 67 per 1,000 square feet, up to 7,500

City officials clarified Tuesday that all persons present in these spaces during events, including performers and staff, count towards the limits.

Outdoor events are also required to control entry in order to ensure the number of participants stays below the limits.

Pennsylvania orders and health and safety guidelines must also continue to be followed, including requirements on face coverings, and six-foot social distancing.  

Philadelphia Eagles fans have been awaiting an expansion on gatherings that would allow several thousand spectators into Lincoln Financial Field, especially after some Steelers fans returned to Heinz Field last Sunday.

“We have been working very closely with state and local officials, public health experts and the National Football League on a number of scenarios to safely bring Eagles fans back to Lincoln Financial Field,” said Don Smolenski, Philadelphia Eagles President. “After many thoughtful and active discussions, we are thrilled to announce that the fan experience will return to Lincoln Financial Field this Sunday."

“On behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles, I would like to thank Governor Wolf, Mayor Kenney and their respective representatives for the support and guidance over these past few months. We will all continue to stay in close communication and will be prepared to adjust and adapt as needed," Smolenski adds.

Mayor Kenney went on to add that tailgating would still not be permitted. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley also stated that alcohol sales would still have to follow state rules, in requiring food be purchased with alcohol. 

On its website, The Linc lists its seating capacity at more than 67,000. Under Philadelphia's expanded guidelines, the Eagles would be able to host 7,500 persons on Sunday, while taking into account players, coaches, and stadium staff.

Dr. Farley discussed the expansions during a briefing on Tuesday and claimed that of the most recent cases in the city, many are coming from the city's universities. More spread is also being seen in the far Northeast and South Philadelphia.

He added that most of the recent cases are occurring in younger people, between the ages of 20 and 49. He added that through contact tracing, they've learned the virus is being spread within households and at social gatherings.

Temple University says they will take a phased approach in allowing fans into their games at Lincoln Financial Field, starting this Saturday. 

This Saturday, tickets will only be provided to families of players and coaches. If all goes well, the university says they will then offer a prorated three-game season ticket plan for games on Nov. 5, Nov. 21, and Nov. 28. 

Temple fans who renewed their season tickets for the 2020 Owls season will be given priority on the purchase of the limited number of seats available for the team’s three games.



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