Stadiums to Open at 10% Capacity in NY. What About Boston?

It’s been a while since fans in Boston have been able to cheer on their teams in person, and the timeline for when that might change remains unclear

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Boston sports fans may be a bit jealous of those in New York now that large venues are able to start hosting people again this month.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is allowing stadiums and arenas with more than 10,000 seats to fill up to 10% capacity. Fans who provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours of an event will be able to attend music shows and performances as well as baseball, soccer, football and basketball games. Arenas can open to the public on Feb. 23.

It’s been a while since fans in Boston have been able to cheer on their teams in person. The timeline for when that might change remains unclear, according to Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel, since large venues can’t open in the state until Phase 4.

"We need to make sure that we have enough protection in our community and we follow the data on a regular basis to see what feels safe to reopen, what we can do next to get towards back to our normal lives," Bharel said.

Asked about the possibility Thursday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said it's hard to tell at this point whether fans might be allowed at Fenway Park for the home opener.

"Fenway Park and Opening Day is kind of far from now," he said. "Look, I am very heartened by the drop we've seen in both new cases and positivity... The decision is going to be where are we going to be on Opening Day, where are we going to be in March?"

Cuomo announced Wednesday that he would extend the state's testing pilot program with the Buffalo Bills to any large stadium or arena later this month.

Certain rules and restrictions apply to start, Cuomo said. Venues have to submit their plans to the State Department of Health for approval. Core mitigation efforts like mask-wearing, temperature checks and mandatory assigned seating to ensure social distancing will also be required.

NBC New York contributed to this report.

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