Red Wings GM on new baseball spectator rules in New York: ‘Things just got a lot easier’

Red Wings

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Red Wings officials said they are excited about the state’s new rules regarding spectators at baseball games, and what it will mean for expanded capacity at games.

The governor said Wednesday that fans attending the games will soon be subject to different rules depending on their vaccination status.

“Starting May 19, for vaccinated people — normal capacity, normal seating for people who are vaccinated,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Sit next to each other in a section, sit next to your friends, sit next to your families. Normal capacity, normal seating. Vaccinated families who have a child under 16 who is not eligible, that child can be seating with a family. We ask them to wear masks, but you attend the game like you would two years ago. For unvaccinated people, the six foot distance applies, with masks, and that comes out to 33% in those sections.”

Red Wings General Manager Dan Mason said Wednesday’s development was welcomed news for the team as it will allow for more fans to attend upcoming games.

“Things just got a lot easier,” Mason said at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

Mason says whether people are vaccinated or unvaccinated, Frontier Field will have as make as many seats as they can available for Rochester baseball fans.

Masks will still be required at all times in the stadium unless a person is eating or drinking in their seats.

Mason says the team received a waiver from the state for the team to operate under the new guidelines for the home opener on May 18 — one day before the new guidelines were set to go in effect.

The general manager said more information on tickets, and what fans can expect when they return to Frontier Field, will be released in the coming days.

A big change from the previous guidelines is COVID-19 testing is no longer a part of the process. Under the old guidelines, fans could only attend with proof of vaccination or a negative test result. Now fans will have more flexibility for stadium sections for the vaccinated fans, but unvaccinated people who have not been tested can still attend.

The governor said incentivizing vaccines is the best route to immunizing the unvaccinated New Yorkers because he cannot legally mandate vaccines.

“You cannot mandate vaccines because the vaccines are approved under something called an emergency use authorization, EUA, and by law, you can’t mandate a vaccine approved under an EUA,” Gov. Cuomo said. “So you can’t, say for example, college students must have a vaccine. You cannot mandate a vaccine under an EUA. You can mandate measles which had a full approval, but you can’t mandate these vaccines which are still all under emergency use authorization.”

The governor said the vaccinated and unvaccinated sections in stadiums would be staggered, so neither group would have better seating opportunities.

“It’s not like the sections are going to be ‘you get a good seat I get a bad seat,’” Gov. Cuomo said. “It’s not like you get the nosebleed seat because you’re unvaccinated and the vaccinated people get the better seats — it doesn’t work that way.”

The governor said the plan for vaccines at Yankees and Mets games will be to use Johnson and Johnson to avoid rescheduling conflicts for a second dose.

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Bob Duffy suggested the state bring a similar vaccine clinic and incentive offer to Rochester’s Frontier Field for a Red Wings game.

Watch the full press briefing

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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