Monday, June 27

Covid-19 yellow traffic light: Mexico City will allow fans to return to the stands

An aerial view of the Azteca stadium, in Mexico City, in 2021.
An aerial view of the Azteca stadium, in Mexico City, in 2021.Hector Vivas / Getty

The head of Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, has authorized the return of fans to the stadiums. This Friday, the authorities reported that the epidemiological situation of covid-19 is favorable and will allow the traffic light to go from orange to yellow, a lower level of alert after the decrease in contagion. That will allow the final phase of the Mexican League, the league, to have 25% capacity.

The Mexican capital and the State of Mexico were the last entities in the country that had not allowed the stadiums to reopen. The first to do so were Mazatlán in Sinaloa and Necaxa in Aguascalientes in October 2020, in an attempt to experience the behavior of the fans and the imposition of rules. The use of a mask, the distance between fans and the sale of tickets digitally were key. The reopening of 13 stadiums in Liga MX allowed 45 matches to be played with fans. 312,571 people entered, according to competition data.

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América, directed by Santiago Solari, and Cruz Azul will play the Liga MX league in the mythical Azteca stadium on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 May. Even, if the League allows it, the women’s clubs of América and Pumas will qualify for the semifinals and will be able to play with fans. The last time Mexico City had a match with fans was on March 15, 2020 when, precisely, America faced Cruz Azul.

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Mexican clubs have lost up to 40% of their income due to the coronavirus crisis. Losses are divided into revenue from box office, sponsorships and the sale of television broadcasting rights. Members of the Mexican League have paid 2.35 million dollars for covid-19 tests and health protocols since 2020. According to Mikel Arriola, president of the competition, Liga MX contributes 0.6% of the Gross Domestic Product. And it is that in the old normality in each game more than 169 million pesos were generated (about 8.4 million dollars, according to tournament figures.

Mexico City has registered a level of hospitalization of 16.5%, the lowest recorded in the entire pandemic. According to the authorities, hospital admissions have been reduced by 50%. There are more than 6,000 beds available to treat serious cases of covid-19. In addition to holding outdoor sporting events, businesses will expand their capacity. As of May 17, entertainment events in enclosed spaces have been given the green light. Vaccination has helped improve the outlook in the capital. In Mexico City, 943,980 older adults have completed the vaccination scheme against covid-19.

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