NEW YORK — Based on the success of the Buffalo Bills playoff game model, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced large arenas can begin hosting sports and music events, starting Feb. 23.
Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be among the arenas reopening on Feb. 23 for the Brooklyn Nets game against the Sacramento Kings.
This applies to venues with a capacity greater than 10,000. These venues can hold a maximum of 10 percent capacity and seating will be assigned.
Those who attend must get a PCR test within 72 hours of the event, and have a negative result. Face coverings, social distancing and temperature checks will also be required.
In addition to this, the New York State Department of Health must approve any event set to take place.
John Abbamondi, the CEO of BSE Global —the parent company of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center — said while fans aren’t allowed in the arena, his team has been testing every staff member each night. So he said they’re ready to welcome back fans and do whatever small part they can to return to life as we knew it.
“We’re in the entertainment business and there’s folks right here in New York who are on the front lines, fighting against this virus, fighting against the pandemic, but we do think we have a role to play and we think it’s important to lift people’s spirits up,” Abbamondi said.
The Knicks, Nets, Rangers and Islanders all issued statements thanking Cuomo, welcoming back fans and reminding everyone that health and safety remain the top priority. If the reopening is successful, it could provide a blueprint to reopen smaller venues around the city.
“We are excited frankly, to lead the way with businesses returning here in New York and that’s what it’s going to take to get this economy back on its feet,” Abbamondi said.
BSE Global will donate a portion of its proceeds each night to the vaccination efforts here in New York. If you’re interested in purchasing Nets tickets you can head to brooklynnets.com/reopening, but all the teams in New York say with just about 2,000 seats available per game, they’ll give priority to season ticket holders. So you can bet they will be tough tickets to get.