Citizens Bank Park welcomes crowd at full-capacity

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- With help from the city's health department and the ending of outdoor gathering limits, Citizens Bank Park opened its doors to fans at full-capacity.

Nearly 43,000 seats were available to cheer on the Philadelphia Phillies Friday, and outside tailgating was back too.

"You get more fans in the stands, maybe it might help the Phillies win, and maybe they'll play a little bit better," said 13-year-old Zachary.

It's a welcome home for these guys, who earned the name the "Phandemic Crew," standing outside cheering on the team when all the doors were locked at the height of the pandemic last season.

"We did all 60 games home and away, while we were out there we raised $40,000 for Phillies' charity," said Oscar Alvarado of Audubon, N.J.

Now they're back and looking toward the future.

"Let's build this, let's make the Phillies a thing to do in town. Now that we're back inside, let's bring it all the way back inside," said Brett Macminn.

Masks are optional for those who are fully vaccinated outdoors and recommended for the unvaccinated.

For some, it's an adjustment to re-enter a pre-pandemic pastime.

"I'm a nurse who was in the COVID unit for six weeks, so to be here without a mask, it's very weird," said Kate Castronuovo of Churchville.

The Phillies organization is getting involved in the effort to help vaccinate as well, offering a Johnson & Johnson shot to fans in the stadium from June 8 through 10.

Those who receive the shot get two free tickets to a future game.

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