It’s been almost a year since the COVID-19 pandemic started and it’s hard for us to remember a time where we could easily travel, hug friends and family, or attend concerts and shows. While most of New York is still shut down, good news came this week regarding the reopening of arenas and venues.
Governor Cuomo announced that New York state will allow stadiums and arenas, such as Citi Field and Madison Square Garden, to reopen for sports and concerts later this month.
“The success of this, and similar events in approved venues over the coming weeks will help inform the re-opening process for smaller venues in the future,” Cuomo said.
It of course doesn’t come as a surprise that this reopening will still have restrictions with limited capacity. Any stadium that can fit more than 10,000 people can stage events beginning on Feb. 23 at 10% capacity, according to Reuters.
“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,” the governor said.
Cuomo’s rules for reopening stadiums and arenas safely is that all attendees must wear face masks and social distance. Another protocol is that those in attendance must show a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of the day of the event.
Cuomo is receiving praise from different people, such as Michael Rapino, the president and CEO of Live Nation Entertainment for this recent decision.
“We applaud Governor Cuomo for taking this step to start the return to live events in New York. While operating concerts at scale will require much greater capacity, the opportunity to start bringing thousands of fans back into arenas and amphitheaters creates new opportunities for artists and fans to reconnect,” Rapino told Rolling Stone.