Seating capacity was reduced at Hadlock Field during the Sea Dogs’ first home stand this season, but by June the ballpark will be open to full capacity. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Hadlock Field may be full of minor league baseball fans soon.

With Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday lifting COVID-19 restrictions on capacity limits and physical distancing requirements in outdoor settings, the Portland Sea Dogs quickly announced that they will return to full capacity for games starting in June.

Currently, the Sea Dogs allow only 28 percent capacity, or 2,087 fans, at Hadlock Field.

“It’s good news, I think, for everyone,” said Sea Dogs president and general manager Geoff Iacuessa. “It’s another step in the right direction.”

Iacuessa said the Sea Dogs have followed guidance from state and federal officials, as well as Major League Baseball, throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so going forward.

For instance, masks will no longer be required while outside watching the game. But masks will continue to be required for entry into the ballpark and while indoors in the concourse and restrooms. Iacuessa said that while new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased indoor requirements for wearing masks, the Sea Dogs will continue to follow state protocols that call for wearing masks indoors.

“We’ll take our cue from the state,” he said. “If they lift them, we will too.”

While Gov. Mills’ announcement goes into effect on May 24, the Sea Dogs will continue to have reduced capacity for their final May homestand from May 25-30. Iacuessa said there was some discussion to expand capacity for that homestand, but decided against it.

“Folks have been buying tickets since April for socially distanced crowds,” he said. “It would be too hard to reach out to all of them to see if they still wanted to come. So we decided to hold off until June.”

Tickets for all remaining Sea Dogs home games will go on sale May 19. With the increased capacity, ticket prices have been reduced. Box seats will be $13 for adults and $12 for kids and seniors. Reserved seats are $12 for adults and $11 for kids and seniors, while general admission tickets will be $11 for adults and $8 for kids and seniors.

During May, single-game ticket prices are $19 (for box seats), $18 (reserved) and $17 (grandstand). Prices for season ticket holders are $12 to $10. The team explained that it needed to increase its prices in May because of the reduced-seating limits.

While the tickets will cost slightly more than those in 2019, Iacuessa said the price increase is “more of a reflection of increased costs that we now face.”

Tickets for June games actually went on sale Wednesday. Iacuessa said anyone who purchased tickets at the higher price will “get the difference back. And if anyone was hoping to attend socially distanced games in June and is not comfortable coming to a full capacity crowd, they will get a refund.”

One thing that will carry over from the reduced-capacity month is in-seat delivery of concession foods. Even though concession stands will open, Iacuessa said the food delivery has been a big hit with fans.

Iacuessa realizes it may take some time before Hadlock Field is filled to its capacity of 7,368 fans. He’s just glad to have the chance to offer the tickets.

“It’s definitely exciting,” he said.” Our anticipation is that it’s going to take some time to build up to where we were in 2019. But things change quickly. If you had told me we’d be at full capacity in June, I would have told you you were crazy. Now it’s a process to build back up to where we were.”

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