DENVER — The official confirmation the 2021 All-Star Game is coming to Denver in July comes at a time when the state remains relatively closed to big events due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis. However, city and state leaders are hopeful Denver will be completely open by the time the first pitch is thrown.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Governor Jared Polis held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the many ways the city and state is preparing for the week-long All-Star festivities in Denver and at Coors Field.
One of the issues discussed was how “open” Denver and Colorado will be come July as some big events, like the Great American Beer Festival, have already canceled festivities for the year.
Already, Colorado is seeing a slight uptick in the 7 day positivity rate, one of many indicators health officials monitor to determine prevalence and trends of the virus. But COVID-19 levels appear to be leveling off as more people get vaccinated.
Gov. Jared Polis said the opening availability of the COVID-19 vaccine to the general public should bring community immunity by late June – weeks before the event.
“As we've indicated, consistent with what President Biden has said, every American who wants to be vaccinated will be able to get it by the end of May,” Polis said. “And frankly, we're thinking it'll be closer to mid to late May, which means immunity by late June. And of course we're talking about a mid-July game, so there are really no concerns from that front.”
Colorado will be moving away from the dial system as a mandatory guidance by April 16, Polis said, which may mean no variances will be required for the July 13 All-Star Game and businesses and event centers will be able to operate at full capacity.
“The state is pulling back on restrictions in mid-April. I think everybody expects a fully-packed sellout stadium in July, and that's going to be good for Major League Baseball, good for Colorado and an exciting experience for fans,” Polis said.
Mayor Hancock echoed the governor’s sentiment. He said he is optimistic the city will be ready by July and encouraged people to get vaccinated so both Coors Field and Denver businesses can operate at full capacity.
“There was never a question about our expectation in terms of July, with the capacity of the stadium or the ballpark would look like at that point time. I'm still very optimistic, and it's in our hands here in Denver and throughout Colorado to continue to do the things that we have to do so that come July we're are fully ready to be at full capacity,” Hancock said.