Return To Wrigley Field: More Cubs Fans, Vaccinations And Free Hot Dogs, Too

Posted By Joe Boozell on May 17, 2021 - Last Updated on August 30, 2021

UPDATE: As of Aug. 30, masks are required statewide, regardless of vaccination status. As of June 11, Wrigley Field is open at 100% capacity. 

Illinois entered its “Bridge Phase” on Friday, which gives Chicago baseball teams the green light to welcome back fans at 60% capacity.

Previously, Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field hosted fans at just 25% capacity. But starting on May 28 against the Reds, the Cubs will be able to bump that number up to 60%.

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Wrigley Field holds 41,649 people at full capacity. So at 60%, approximately 25,000 fans will be allowed through the gates for each game.

The 60% capacity at Wrigley Field may be short-lived, as Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney says he’s hopeful for full capacity at Wrigley by July.

While that’s all good news for Cubs fans, there will still be COVID-19 protocols that people will need to follow at the games. Here are some of the main rules.

Does Wrigley Field require masks?

Yes. The Cubs’ official website states that face coverings are required for everyone older than 2 years, regardless of vaccination status.

The Cubs instruct fans to keep on their masks at all times, with one notable exception: while eating or drinking. Neck gaiters and masks with valves are not permitted.

Wrigley Field is also issuing disposable masks to fans who need one. Hand sanitizer is also available throughout the ballpark.

Free concessions for those who get vaccinated at Wrigley

Wrigley Field is a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. The shots are being administered outside of the ballpark at Gallagher Way. You can sign up for an appointment, and there is plenty of availability.

And for the Cubs’ upcoming series against the Nationals, fans who get vaccinated will receive a voucher for a free hot dog and soda inside the park. We don’t know how long this perk will last, but we at least know it will be in effect for the series against Washington.

There will be a fully vaccinated area in the Budweiser Bleachers this week.

To sit here, you must present proof of your COVID-19 vaccination. The section will be sold at full capacity, without social distancing.  Single-game tickets are $20, plus taxes. As of this writing, there were limited tickets available online.

Wrigley Field is now cashless

The cashless payment system is a new feature at Wrigley as of 2021. To purchase concessions or raffle tickets, you must use a credit card, debit card or mobile wallet.

Reverse ATMs are also available throughout the park, which allows you to convert cash to a card that you can use for purchases at Wrigley Field.

As such, the Cubs website encourages you to order concessions using the MLB Ballpark app on your phone. The policy reads:

“New this year, mobile ordering is the primary way to order from concession stands and vendors to your seat. Purchases can be made through the MLB Ballpark app or online via a scanned QR code. In-seat vending is available, but all transactions are cashless.”

Cubs COVID protocols and social distancing

Although it will be more difficult to distance at 60% capacity rather than at 25%, Wrigley Field will still do its best to give fans their space.

The Cubs are selling tickets in pods. Obviously, there won’t be as much physical distancing with the increased capacity.

But when possible, Wrigley will try to promote distancing.

How to bet on the Cubs in Illinois

Eventually, there will be a retail DraftKings Sportsbook at Wrigley Field. But that is not open yet.

For now, you can bet on the Cubs from your phone. Though, of course, that’s only possible if you’ve already downloaded one or more sports betting app in Illinois.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker removed online sports betting registration in April. Now, you must drive to a casino or horse racetrack to create an account.

But those who already have online sportsbook accounts are good to go. There are six mobile sportsbooks in Illinois, and all offer baseball lines:

  • Barstool
  • BetRivers
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • PointsBet
  • Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill
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Cubs fans can bet on the run line, moneyline over/under, various props, etc. First five betting is also popular in Illinois.

Photo by Shafkat Anowar / AP
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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for NCAA.com since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com and NBA.com. Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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