RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper will lift the state’s outdoor mask mandate on Friday, but some outdoor venues will still require them.
The Durham Bulls are expecting to welcome about 2,700 people back into the baseball park for Opening Day on May 11. Fans will have to wear masks, with the exception of eating or drinking while in their seat.
“Major League Baseball will still require us at the present time to wear masks,” said Scott Strickland, assistant operations manager for the Durham Bulls. “We have to follow those orders as well.”
As do the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. While the state is dropping the mask mandate for outdoor settings, both teams fall under rules by the MLB, which requires masks at major and minor league baseball parks.
“The smaller events that we have hosted, people are willing to do whatever rule we have posted on any sign throughout the ballpark,” said Strickland. “They’re just excited to get back out here. And I think that will be the overwhelming reaction, is they’re just excited to be here.”
“Everyone’s just been so excited to get back out to the ballpark, or get back out of their homes,” he added. “And I think that’s one thing we’re really focusing on – the ability to get back into this ballpark for the first time since September 2019. That was a long time ago.”
Concerts will return to Red Hat Amphitheater and Coastal Credit Union Music Park in Raleigh this June. Red Hat Amphitheater’s current policy requires masks. It’s unclear if masks will be required at the Music Park.
Even as the state begins to ease restrictions, Strickland expects some businesses will continue to enforce them.
“There are basically a few staples that all of us have been following and will be following for the near future – social distancing, reduced capacity and masks, and I don’t see those necessarily completely going away for this summer,” he said.
Masks are still required indoors. Cooper says he won’t lift that mandate until two-thirds of the adult population is partially vaccinated.