By The Canadian Press on October 16, 2020.
Toronto FC will play before fans at its Nov. 1 game against Inter Miami CF in East Hartford.
The MLS club said Friday that it has the green light from local authorities to have up to 5,000 spectators at the 38,000-seat Pratt and Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field, which is serving as Toronto’s home away from home during the pandemic.
“We look forward to having some fans in the stands for our final regular-season game in East Hartford,” Toronto president Bill Manning said in a statement. “Toronto FC is so grateful to the state of Connecticut and everyone at Pratt and Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field for providing us with such an outstanding facility during this unique stretch of games. Our players feel the support already and having some fans will make it even better.”
Select seating will be available in both the stadium’s lower and upper bowls. Spectators will be required to wear a mask or face covering and adhere to social distancing within the stadium.
“We’ve consulted with state and local public health officials and as long as certain health protocols are met, we believe that having a limited audience can safely be done, especially considering that this is an outdoor stadium,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement.
“I look forward to the day when we can fill the Rent back up to capacity. I appreciate Toronto FC and Major League Soccer for working with our administration so that we could make this happen.”
League-leading Toronto (11-2-5) hosts Atlanta United (5-9-4) on Sunday in East Hartford.
Toronto has played before fans just twice in 17 games since since the league halted play March 12 due to the pandemic. Both those contests were in Montreal, where local authorities allowed 250 fans into Saputo Stadum.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct 16, 2020