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Arenas in New York soon to open to fans

Virus Outbreak New York
Posted at 10:46 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 22:46:09-05

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state’s arenas and stadiums will soon be allowed to host a limited number of fans.

For the first time in nearly a year, fans of the state's NBA and NHL teams will be allowed in for games. The announcement could also be seen as welcome news for the Mets and Yankees, who could potentially host fans in April for the first time in nearly 18 months.

Cuomo said that arenas and stadiums with capacities of over 10,000 will be allowed to fill 10% of seats. The arenas will implement socially distanced seating, with fans spaced out at a distance.

In order for fans to gain entry, they must have a negative coronavirus test in the 72 hours preceding the event. They also must submit to a temperature screening at the venue and wear masks at all times.

MSG announced that 2,000 fans will be allowed in for New York Knicks and New York Rangers games in Madison Square Garden starting Feb. 23. The NHL’s Buffalo Sabres have not announced how many fans will be allowed in, but said ticketing information will soon be available. The NBA's Brooklyn Nets said it will fill 10% of the Barclays Center for games starting Feb. 23. The Islanders did not announce exact plans for games this season, but welcomed Wednesday’s announcement.

Ten of the 30 NBA teams have allowed fans into buildings so far this season. Only four teams, Raptors, Magic, Rockets and Jazz, have averaged more than 2,000 per game.

Just three of 31 NHL teams have allowed fans into buildings.

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Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.