State guidelines on professional sports says no fans are allowed to attend

Local News

(WIVB) — New York State says no live audience, fans, or spectators are allowed to attend or are permitted to enter any professional sports venue, even if an outdoor venue.

This is part of the newly released “Professional Sports Competitions” guidelines on the Reopening New York website.

The state will also not allow fans to congregate outside of the venue, and a security plan must be implemented to disperse any individuals gathering.

Individuals allowed on or near the field will be limited to only athletes, essential team staff, like coaches, and others deemed necessary. To add to that, team staff and athletes on the sidelines must maintain appropriate social distancing at all times and must minimize congregating.

State guidelines also say in-person gatherings such as team meetings and coaching briefings must be limited as much as possible.

Face coverings must be worn inside the venue at all times, excluding when athletes are engaged in training, warming up, or during play.

That means athletes must be wearing face coverings after completion of those activities, or before active competition, such as standing or sitting on the sidelines.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul released a statement on this:

“Yesterday’s release of guidance for professional sports is good news for sports-deprived fans all over New York wanting to see a return of live sports.

Governor Cuomo previously said New York State was ready and willing to partner with our professional sports teams to return to playing as soon as possible – without fans, but games still being televised – and this guidance is a great step towards making that a reality.

With the Yankees and Mets arriving in New York for training camp and Bills players most likely returning soon to Orchard Park, it was important for this guidance to be released now to ensure a safe environment for players and staff.

While other states are seeing increases in their infection rates and some training camps being put on pause, New York’s data-based approach is working as we have the lowest infection rate and we are able to safely welcome back teams with comprehensive guidelines to keep them safe and reduce the spread of the virus. 

Like all Western New Yorkers, I too want to watch the Buffalo Bills play this year and once and for all ending New England’s reign over the AFC East. Until then, New York will continue working with professional sports teams and their leagues to make sure they can proceed safely. 

While a return of live sports is important for New York’s economy and restoring a sense of normalcy, we are still fighting this virus and have to prepare for the new normal. We need to continue doing our part to stop the spread – wear a mask and maintain physical distance.”

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul

Troy Licastro is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of his work here.

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