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COVID-19: NY To Permit Arenas, Stadiums To Reopen To Public, With Specified Maximum Capacities

New York stadiums and arenas have been permitted to reopen with certain restrictions in place.
New York stadiums and arenas have been permitted to reopen with certain restrictions in place. Photo Credit: ny.gov

New York’s economy is opening up a little wider, with sports arenas, stadiums, and theaters given the green light to open with certain COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Citing the success of allowing nearly 7,000 fans into the stadium for the Buffalo Bills playoff run after being tested, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that more large venues can open back up as the state combats COVID-19.

“We’re doing vaccines and controlling the spread of COVID, but we have to get the economy opened in balanced ways,” Cuomo said during a COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

“The Buffalo Bills program was an unparalleled success,” he added. “As far as I know it was the only stadium in the country to open up for football with testing.”

Beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 23, venues with more than 10,000-person capacity can reopen up to 10 percent of max occupancy, and spectators must take a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the event.


Facial coverings, social distancing, and temperature checks will be required, while seating must be assigned prior to the event.

Cuomo said that any venue planning to reopen must submit its plan to the state for approval before opening up to the public. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be the first to open when the Nets host the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 23.


“The testing, to me, is key. I can go see the president of the United States, take a test, and if I pass then I can go into the Oval Office,” he postured. “Why? Because if you’re negative, you are negative. So testing is going to be the key.”

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