CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday she expects fans to be allowed at the United Center for Bulls and Blackhawks games before the end of this season, but the city is waiting for cases to continue decreasing after a recent surge coronavirus cases.
The mayor made the comments at an unrelated news conference after being asked about allowing fans indoors. She said the city has been talking with the Bulls and Blackhawks and they have “very solid plans” but noted the recent surge in cases.
“We feel like we might be plateauing and even, dare to dream, going down. Going down is the right time to have that conversation,” Lightfoot said. “So, we’ll continue with that. I expect before season’s end there will be fans in the United Center.”
Time for fans to make it into the United Center is short, however, as the Bulls and Blackhawks each have seven remaining regular season home games scheduled this season.
The Chicago Cubs and White Sox have been allowed to have a limited number of fans watch games inside their open-air stadiums since Opening Day.
Public health commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, meanwhile, said the city isn’t in a position to talk about lifting mask restrictions until a higher percent of the population is vaccinated. The state has maintained that mask requirements will remain in place until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they can be lifted.