ALBANY, NY (CelebrityAccess) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state is relaxing rules for large sports and entertainment venues around the state, allowing them to resume hosting events with a limited capacity.
The new rules, guided by a pilot program conducted by the NFL team Buffalo Bills, major stadiums and arenas with a capacity of 10,000 or more people can re-open with a capacity of 10% starting on February 23rd.
Apart from the capacity restrictions, some further limitations are in place. All fans and staff will need to provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours of an event to attend.
As well, indoor arenas enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards and observe social distance seating requirements.
Fans must also be temperature checked upon entering a venue and will be required to wear face coverings while in attendance.
“While we continue to fight COVID on multiple fronts, we must also get this economy re-opened intelligently and in a balanced way,” Governor Cuomo said. “Live sports and entertainment have long been engrained in the fabric of New York and the inability to hold events has only added to the isolation we have all felt at the hands of this virus. Thankfully, our pilot program to reopen Buffalo Bills games to fans was an unparalleled success and now we are taking that model and expanding it to other large venues across the state to not only reinvigorate local economies, but also help bring some fun and joy back into people’s lives as safely as possible.”
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn has already announced plans for their first event and will welcome fans back to the arena on February 23rd for a basketball game between the New York Nets and the Sacramento Kings.
“Thank you to Governor Cuomo and his team at the Department of Health for collaborating with us in creating a robust health and safety plan that allows fans to return to our arena,” said BSE Global CEO John Abbamondi. “The Governor has played a tremendous role in getting New York businesses back on their feet and we are proud to announce that for the remainder of the season we are donating a portion of ticket proceeds to support vaccination efforts here in Brooklyn. We would also like to thank our fans for their support this season and we are looking forward to bringing their energy back to Barclays Center!”
An MSG spokesperson also praised the Governor’s decision to allow major sports and entertainment venues to re-open.
“We want to thank Governor Cuomo for allowing us to move forward with welcoming fans back to MSG. We intend to host roughly 2,000 fans at every game, beginning with the February 23 Knicks game against the Warriors and the February 26 Rangers game against the Bruins. Health and safety remain our top priority, and we will be working closely with state and health officials to implement the strongest operating protocols. We know our fans are anxious to return and we can’t wait to see them at The Garden once again.”