ALBANY – Sports and entertainment events at major stadiums and arenas can reopen Feb. 23 at 10 percent capacity, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
The reopenings also come with other requirements, including direct Department of Health approval for both venues and events and negative COVID-19 PCR tests for staff and spectators within 72 hours of the event.
“While we continue to fight COVID on multiple fronts, we must also get this economy re-opened intelligently and in a balanced way,” Cuomo said in a statement. “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.”
Cuomo referenced a pilot program to allow a limited number of fans into Buffalo Bills playoff games as leading to the current announcement.
The announcement applies to stadiums and arenas with a capacity of 10,000 or more people. The program is expected to inform the future reopening of smaller venues, officials said.
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn has already been approved to re-open Feb. 23 for the Brooklyn Nets home game against the Sacramento Kings.
The full list of requirements:
- Obtain Department of Health approval for both venues and events
- Institute a 10 percent capacity limit in arenas and stadiums
- Ensure all staff and spectators receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of the event
- Mandate face coverings, social distancing and temperature checks for all those in attendance
- Mandate assigned, socially distanced seating
- Collect contact information from all those in attendance to help inform contact tracing efforts
- Meet enhanced air filtration, ventilation and purification standards
- Ensure retail, food services and athletic activities abide by all state-issued guidance