By the end of the week, New York’s professional franchises won’t be the only teams to have fans in the stands.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that beginning on Friday, college sports in New York can begin bringing back a limited number of fans in attendance while following COVID-19 protocols.
Large-scale college sports venues — ones that hold more than 1,500 fans indoors or 2,500 outdoors — will be able to host at 10 percent capacity indoors and 20 percent outdoors. As is the case with pro stadiums and arenas, attendees will need to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test or completed COVID-19 vaccination.
Small-scale college sports venues, meanwhile, will be able to host two fans per player or a total of 100 fans indoors or 200 fans outdoors. Those numbers can increase to 150 and 500, respectively, with proof of a negative test or vaccination.
Fans must still wear masks, follow social distancing and undergo a health screening upon entrance.
“College athletics not only provide opportunities for entertainment and community pride, but also plays a critical role in helping drive local economies,” Cuomo said in a statement. “COVID has had a devastating effect on many aspects of our lives, and college athletics was not immune. While athletes have been able to resume competition in recent months, it hasn’t been the same without fans in the stands cheering them on. Thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers, we are now in a place where we can begin allowing them to return to games as well. As New York continues its work to beat back COVID and expand vaccine access statewide, we will continue to re-open different aspects of life through a science-based approach so we can return to normal as safely as possible.”