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OC Register: Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium can expand capacity under new COVID-19 tier classification

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The California Department of Public Health reclassified Los Angeles and Orange counties into a lower-risk tier under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which will allow outdoor stadiums in both counties to admit 33 percent of capacity beginning Thursday.

The state classifies each county into a tier based on its new COVID-19 case rate and test positivity rate. Los Angeles and Orange counties began the month in the most restrictive (purple) tier. Two weeks ago, Los Angeles joined Orange County in the slightly less restrictive red tier, which allows stadiums to open to 25 percent of capacity beginning Thursday.

As of Monday, both counties are in the orange tier, based on a new case rate of less than 4 per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate below 5 percent.

The news will be welcome at Angel Stadium and Dodger Stadium. Both venues are set to host their first regular-season home games soon. The Angels host the Chicago White Sox on Thursday and the Dodgers welcome the Washington Nationals on April 9.

Later next month, LAFC is scheduled to host Austin FC at Banc of California Stadium on April 17. The Galaxy host the New England Revolution on March 27 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

According to the state, Los Angeles County is experiencing a new COVID-19 case rate of 3.1 per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 1.5 percent. Orange County is down to 2.8 new cases per 100,000 and a 1.7 percent positivity rate.

The orange tier still limits attendance to in-state visitors only, requires weekly COVID-19 testing for stadium workers, and limits suite occupancy to 25 percent. Concourse concession sales are still prohibited.

The number of available tickets at each venue is also bound by the state’s physical-distancing mandates. Under guidelines established by the CDPH and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, fans must be able to maintain a minimum six-foot distance when queued in a line ― for example, when entering and exiting the stadium.

At Dodger Stadium, that means the maximum allowance of tickets sold is expected to fall somewhere in the 13,000 to 14,000 range.

If every fan in attendance can show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, stadiums in orange tier counties can open to 67 percent of capacity. That would potentially allow Dodger Stadium to admit approximately 37,520 fans if the physical distancing requirements are relaxed. Angel Stadium, now allowed to admit approximately 14,850 fans, would be allowed to admit up to 30,150.

Fans are still prohibited from attending indoor sports events for counties in the orange tier.

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