As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the U.S., Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that sports and entertainment venues can reopen at a limited capacity.

Governor Cuomo announced on Wednesday, February 10, that sports and entertainment venues in New York State will be able to reopen at a limited capacity. Starting February 23, arenas and stadiums that hold 10,000 or more people are able to reopen at 10% capacity. According to a press release, the venues that wish to reopen must get approval from the New York State Department of Health, and face coverings will be required.

In a press release, Gov. Cuomo stated:

"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 move to reopen live entertainment venues comes after a successful trial at the Buffalo Bills Stadium in Buffalo, New York. The stadium reopened for the NFL playoff game with the Buffalo Bills. According to the press release, the Barclays Center has been approved to re-open on February 23 for the Brooklyn Nets home game against the Sacramento Kings.

If a venue wishes to reopen for professional sports, it must meet the following guidelines, as stated in the press release:

  • Obtain DOH approval for both venues and events
  • 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

The closest venues to the Hudson Valley would be the Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden. At this time, it is unclear if MSG is working towards being approved to hold live events at a limited capacity.

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