BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York State released updated guidance Wednesday which will allow the reopening of large stadiums and arenas on February 23 with COVID-19 testing and protocols in place.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said the plan developed and put in place to allow fans to return to Bills Stadium was a success and that plan will be followed to allow for the reopening of other large stadiums and arenas.
Cuomo said the stadiums and arenas must create a reopening plan that is approved by NYSDOH first.
The following protocols will be in place upon reopening:
- 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
"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 Buffalo Sabres released a statement which can be found below on the announcement.