76ers to welcome back more fans for NBA Playoffs as Philadelphia eases COVID-19 restrictions

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates a three point basket during the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics at Wells Fargo Center on January 22, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia 76ers will be welcoming back even more fans just in time for the playoffs as the City of Philadelphia loosens COVID-19 restrictions

In fact, the 76ers and Philadelphia Phillies will both be permitted to welcome back several thousand more fans as the city increases capacities at venues like Citizens Bank Park and the Wells Fargo Center to 50%, effective May 21. 

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced the news during a briefing on Tuesday afternoon, and went on to add that the city would be fully reopening and lifting all "Safer at Home" restrictions on June 11. 

In accordance with the city's loosened restrictions, the Sixers and Phillies can increase capacity to 50% with a minimum of three feet of distance between people from different groups. 

Shortly after the announcement was made by the city, the Sixers released a statement saying they were 'thrilled' by the city's decision to increase capacities in time for the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. 

"We are thrilled by the city's decision to increase capacity to 50% in time for the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Our fans have created the most passionate and intense atmosphere in the NBA, and it gives us the type of home court advantage our players can feed off in the postseason," read a statement from 76ers President of Business Operations Chris Heck. "We hope this is only the beginning and look forward to welcoming back even more fans throughout the playoffs. We also want to thank our partners at Comcast Spectacor for being on the forefront of best-in-class health & safety standards so that our fans have the opportunity to fuel our playoff run."

Tuesday's news could have the potential to impact the team's home court advantage, which they could lock up through the Eastern Conference Finals with a #1 seed in the playoffs. 

The Sixers have not yet revealed how they'll adjust any capacities once the city fully reopens on June 11. 

In a similar announcement made Monday, the Philadelphia Union set June 23 as the date for when they'll welcome fans back to Subaru Park at full capacity with safety precautions in place. 

Masking and other COVID mitigation measures will still be in place at the parks when more fans are able to return on May 21, and mask mandates will be in effect in Philadelphia even after other restrictions are lifted June 11. 



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