Brooklyn Boro

Indoor and outdoors stadiums, arenas in NY start to reopen

February 23, 2021 Marina Villeneuve, Associated Press

Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center plan to allow hundreds of fans to attend sports and entertainment events starting Tuesday.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that stadiums and arenas with a capacity of 10,000 people or more could reopen with limited spectators for sports and entertainment starting Feb. 23.

Barclays Center, which has about 17,700 seats for basketball games and plans to fill 300 seats, has received state approval to reopen Tuesday for the Brooklyn Nets’ home game against the Sacramento Kings. And the New York Knicks and New York Rangers said they plan to host about 2,000 fans at Madison Square Garden, starting with Tuesday’s Knicks game against the Golden State Warriors.

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Both outdoor and indoor arenas can reopen at 10% of their normal capacity under Cuomo’s plan — a move that drew concern from public health experts about still-high rates of COVID-19 infections, the higher risk of transmission indoors and the threat of more contagious variants.

On top of state department of health approval, Cuomo’s plan requires mask mandates, social distancing and temperature tests.

All staff and spectators must also receive a negative laboratory test within 72 hours of the event. Public health experts say that means it’s possible people who recently caught COVID-19 could test negative but transmit the virus on game day.

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