Today the Governor announced that sports arenas and stadiums with a capacity of 10,000 or more can reopen as early as February 23rd.

That would include the Times Union Center in Albany at a capacity of 17,500. Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be the first arena to open under this policy on February 23 as the Brooklyn Nets host the Sacramento Kings.

According to Business Insider, each venue must submit a plan to the state health department for approval prior to reopening. That plan must include mandatory face coverings and assigned seating to facilitate social distancing. Every ticketed guest will also have to submit a negative PCR COVID-19 test result - not a rapid test - within 72 hours before the event.

CBS6 states that, following testing successes at the Buffalo Bills' playoff games, the governor announced reopening models for other sporting venues. Every Bills fan who attended the January 9 playoff game was tested for COVID-19 before entering - a measure, Cuomo said, that is key to reopening sports stadiums. "This hits the balance of safe reopening," he added.

New York's COVID numbers continue to decrease amid a slight uptick in the vaccine supply bound for the state. Wednesday's positivity rate stood at 4.02%. Positivity rates in the Capital Region remain around 2-3%. More than 2.6 million dosages of the vaccine have been administered to date.

What would this mean for concerts? Times Union reports, the state is also working on new guidelines for smaller venues that host theater productions, concerts and other events.

"It’s the first step, but only the first step," said Cuomo.


KEEP READING: See how sports around the world have been impacted by the coronavirus


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