New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that sports arenas and stadiums with a capacity of better than 10,000 can re-open with limited spectators. The first event open to spectators in the state will be the National Basketball Association contest between the Sacramento Kings and Brooklyn Nets at the Barclay Center Feb. 23.
The opening of venues will follow the Buffalo Bills pilot program, deemed an “unparalleled success” by Cuomo, following guidelines including Department of Health approval for venues and events, capacity limitations, testing requirements, mandatory face coverings, temperature checks and assigned, socially distanced seating. There will be a 10% capacity limit in arenas and stadiums.
Officials at the New York Racing Association welcomed the news and will explore their options over the next weeks and months.
“Sports and entertainment venues in New York are responsible for tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic impact. NYRA applauds Governor Cuomo for taking action today to get New Yorkers back to work and fans back in seats,” said Patrick McKenna, Senior Director, Communications and Media Relations for NYRA.
“NYRA is reviewing the newly announced guidelines to determine how they apply to Aqueduct Racetrack, where the first floor is currently the site of a New York State COVID-19 vaccination center, and to Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.
“NYRA has been conducting live racing without spectators in attendance since June 3 and we are eager to welcome racing fans back to our venues at the appropriate time and with the approval of the New York State Gaming Commission.”