The arenas have been used for voting over the past year, but otherwise, it’s been quiet.
And it’s not just basketball fans who are excited, as owners of nearby businesses are anxious for an increase in customers.
Any arena in the state with more than 10,000 seats can now allow guests back inside at 10% capacity, with added safety precautions.
Those include a mandatory PCR test from each attendee within 72 hours of game time.
At the Barclays Center, the Nets are providing a free rapid test to anyone who walks through the door. Once inside, you’ll find assigned socially distanced seating.
There will be three main seating areas, each divided into pods of two or four fans each.
“You will have a QR code that you will have on your phone,” Barclays Center General Manager Adina Erwin said. “And you will be able to look at the menu, order your food, and food then will be brought to you. So it’s more of an in-seat service.”
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The Nets have added NBA star James Harden to the roster this year, and needless to say, he is excited about the development.
“I can’t wait, I’m excited,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to be in Brooklyn, because of the fan base. They’re unbelievable. Just to have some excitement, some extra energy in the crowd is going to be exciting, obviously, for the entire team.”
The Nets will start with roughly 300 fans, ramping up to 1,800 people in the stands after the all-star break, while MSG will open with about 2,000 fans for the team’s game against the Golden State Warriors.
That will be followed by the New York Rangers on February 26 vs. the Boston Bruins.
New Jersey isn’t far behind New York, allowing fans inside starting Monday, with 10% capacity indoors and 15% capacity outdoors beginning March 1.
Meanwhile, New Yorkers are getting another option for entertainment as well.
Movie theaters are allowed to reopen at 25% capacity starting next week after having been closed for nearly a year.
Masks and assigned seating will be required.
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