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June 2, 2021

WooSox sell out first home game under expanded capacity, as stadium still under construction

Photo | Grant Welker Polar Park's playing field from behind home plate

On Tuesday, the Worcester Red Sox minor league baseball team sold out their 13th consecutive home game -- the first since the coronavirus-related capacity restrictions were lifted -- although the team still is limited from reaching Polar Park's planned sell-out crowd, as sections of the stadium remain under construction.

The WooSox first home game without pandemic-related capacity limits on Tuesday sported a crowd of 6,422, on par with the stadium's current capacity of just over 6,300, per team spokesperson Bill Wanless. The team played the Rochester Red Wings in a 6-4 loss. 

For the previous 12 home games of the WooSox inaugural season, the team sold out to crowds of 2,377 fans, as the stadium was limited to 25% of capacity due to the coronavirus gathering restrictions imposed by Massachusetts. Those restrictions were lifted on Saturday.

The total planned capacity of Polar Park is 9,508, but sections of the ballpark remain under construction such as the outfield berm gathering area, so the current capacity is 6,300.

The construction of the publicly owned Polar Park was announced in August 2018 and moved on an accelerated timeline in order to be ready for the team's first game this year. Although the stadium was able to open to limited capacity on time, the project was beset by overruns, rising 58% in cost to $160 million.

As the team’s first homestand without COVID-19 era restrictions continues, the WooSox will host a vaccine clinic through Sunday in conjunction with Worcester’s Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center. Fans who are interested may receive a single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccination at Polar Park in exchange for a ticket to that day’s game, as well as a WooSox cap.

Fans who wish to be vaccinated will be escorted to the first base concourse after receiving a complimentary general admission ticket from the park’s ticket office. Fans who already purchased tickets to games this week and who would like to be vaccinated will be allowed to report directly to Kennedy Health Center staff and receive a ticket to a future 2021 home game, according to the WooSox.

The Seattle Mariners began offering similar programs on May 4. The WooSox join the Columbus Clippers as Triple-A clubs offering vaccines to fans, according to the team.

The team said it will consider hosting future vaccine clinics as the season moves forward.

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