Phanatic won’t be only Phillies fan in stands this season

Phillie Phanatic (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Phillie Phanatic (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Good news for Philadelphia Phillies fans who are missing baseball a little extra these days.

For the first time in approximately 500 days — since the 2019 season finale defeat to the Miami Marlins that secured the franchise’s 11,000th all-time loss — a limited number of fans will be allowed in the stands at Citizens Bank Park, come Opening Day of the 2021 season.

On Friday, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced an exciting change — one step closer to hopefully returning to normal sooner than later. A maximum of 2,500 people, with the figure including players, coaches, and employees, will be able to attend games.

The beloved Phillies mascot will have some long-awaited company.

What does this mean for the beloved Phillie Phanatic? He won’t be alone in the stands this year. And a bonus: he will have real people to heckle — surely socially distanced — instead of just cardboard cutouts. Wouldn’t it be even better to see the Phanatic heckling some opposing players and fans, who could actually talk back?

The Phillies will kick off their 2021 season at home on April 1, 3:05 p.m., opposite the Atlanta Braves. That will begins a three-game weekend series against the 2020 National League East champions — with the remaining games in the set to occur April 3-4.

After the Braves leave town, the new-look New York Mets — with recently acquired shortstop Francisco Lindor — will come in to play another three-game series from April 5-7.

It is surely a positive sign to learn the Phanatic will have thousands of “friends” to keep him company during each of the 81 home games scheduled for 2021. We’re looking forward to seeing what kinds of antics he’ll get into this year. It remains to be seen which fans will be offered tickets, but chances are full- or partial-season ticket holders will receive priority.

Welcome back, baseball. Welcome back.

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