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Wells Fargo Center Allowing Fans Back Sunday As Philadelphia Eases COVID-19 Events Restrictions

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- After waiting for nearly a year, fans will soon be allowed back at the Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley announced Tuesday that the city is changing its events restrictions to match Pennsylvania's new limits for indoor and outdoor events.

Indoor events will now have a 15% capacity regardless of the size of the venue and outdoor event space now has 20% capacity.

Stadium Guide: What You Need To Know Before Heading Out To Wells Fargo Center, Citizens Bank Park

Farley says the city is working with Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park about the updated restrictions.

"We will be changing our restrictions as well to be consistent with the governor's plans. This affects, in particular, the very large venues, in particular, the sports stadiums," Farley said. "So we're working now with the sports stadiums on the details of their safety plans, but we will be consistent with the governor's new standards for those restrictions."

The Wells Fargo Center says it will be able to host around 3,100 fans for Flyers and Sixers games, beginning Sunday, March 7.

"We've been working around the clock to ensure that we can safely welcome Flyers and 76ers fans back to Wells Fargo Center, and we're thrilled to open our doors to Philly sports fans once again," said Valerie Camillo, president of business operations for the Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center. "This is a big deal for our building and our teams, but it's also an important step for our local economy. Every time the Flyers and 76ers play at home, we'll have hundreds of part-time employees back on the job and dozens of local businesses will benefit, too, so this is a win for our entire city. We're incredibly proud of the extensive health and safety measures we've put in place to make this possible, and in the weeks and months ahead, we're committed to always putting safety first."

In order to attend games at Wells Fargo, fans will be required to wear a mask at all times, complete a health assessment questionnaire, and follow social distancing rules.

"I'll take 15% of Philly fans over 100% of any other fans in the NBA," 76ers President Chris Heck said.

Though the percentage is not great in size, Philly fans definitely bring a game-changing element — no matter how great or small.

The Phillies say 8,800 fans will be permitted for their home games. Fans will be seated in pods of two, three or four people, with limited pods available for five to six people. All fans age 2 years and older must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times on ballpark property, other than when actively eating or drinking at their ticketed seats.

The opportunity to attend the Phillies' first 19 regular season home games at Citizens Bank Park will be offered initially to season ticket holders. The public will also have the chance to purchase tickets beginning on Friday, March 12, available online only at All tickets will be mobile.

"We have been diligently working with our city and state officials to finalize health and safety protocols at Citizens Bank Park. With these important measures now in place, we are excited to safely welcome a limited number of our fans back to the ballpark experience," said Phillies Executive Vice President David Buck. "The unmatched energy our fans bring to the game has undoubtedly been missed, and we can't wait to hear their cheers once again come Opening Day."

In anticipation of allowing fans back in, the Wells Fargo Center spent $11 million on upgrading its HVAC system. Sixers head coach Doc Rivers says he can't wait to have fans back.

"I'm happy. We want to see our fans here," Rivers said. "Our fans are phenomenal and we need them here. It would be awesome the second half of the season if we could have fans. I think it would really boost us."

Mayor Jim Kenney says both teams are working out details about who will be invited to attend the games at these arenas in terms of season ticket holders.

Fans are excited for the reopening of the Wells Fargo Center, but unless you're a season ticket holder, you'll be waiting to watch your team play in-person for a little while longer.

"The season ticket holders are really going to be the priority. They've stuck with us through this, this year. Some of our season ticket holders have tickets that go back to the building that used to be over my shoulder here in G Lot, the Spectrum, and that kind of loyalty in that kind of tenure is going to be rewarded," Wells Fargo Center General Manager Phil Laws said.

"I think it's enough room for everyone to be safe and enjoy the game, and bring a little more excitement to the players," fan Max Lang said.

Even at a limited capacity, hundreds of workers will be returning this weekend at the Wells Fargo Center.

CBS3's Natasha Brown and Kimberly Davis contributed to this report.

For Flyers games, 'Inside Edge' season ticket members will receive first priority for tickets. For more information on purchasing tickets for Flyers games, click here. For information on buying tickets for 76ers games, click here

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