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Large arenas can now allow fans, UB submits reformed proposal for 350

KeyBank Center seats
Posted at 5:40 PM, Feb 23, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — After the successful return of Buffalo Bills fans to Orchard Park in January, Governor Cuomo announced other arenas and stadiums could see fans starting Tuesday as long as they followed a similar plan as the Bills.

The plans must include:

  • 10% capacity limit
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event
  • Face coverings, social distancing, temperature checks required
  • Mandatory assigned, socially distanced seating

All of this can only be done for stadiums of more than 10,000 and the venue would have had to submit a proposal to the New York State Department of Health.

The only arenas and sporting stadiums with Spring sports in Western New York that have that kind of capacity are Sahlen Field (home of the Buffalo Bisons), and Keybank Center (home of the Buffalo Sabres). Sahlen Field could fit around 1600 fans at 10% capacity. According to the Bisons, they have not submitted a proposal but are working on a plan. At 10% capacity the Sabres could see around 1,900 fans.

The current 10,000 capacity rule leaves local colleges such as SUNY Buffalo State, Canisius, St. Bonaventure University and SUNY University at Buffalo without available fan plans. Though UB says they did submit a plan to the state to allow 350 fans for basketball games. The tickets would go to students/player families.