The 2020 regular season was perhaps the greatest year in Buffalo Bills history. Unfortunately, for home games it was almost certainly the quietest, with no fans allowed until the playoffs. Those games were capped at about 7,000 attendees or less than 10 percent of stadium capacity. You can check my math but that all adds up to a lot of people eagerly awaiting the chance to root for the good guys in person.
Well, things are starting to look good on that front. New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced that starting April 1, large outdoor venues such as stadiums can reopen at 20 percent capacity. For Bills stadium that’s over 14,000 fans. It should also be noted that this is subject to change.
“Venue capacity will continue to increase as the public health situation improves with more New Yorkers receiving vaccinations and fewer COVID-19 cases in the community,” said the release.
By late summer we could be looking at a much different picture.
As it stands now, this will come with some guidelines aimed at making sure everyone has a safe experience. The protocols that are currently mandated include:
- A 20-percent capacity limit
- Spectators and public-facing event staff must present proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination prior to the event
- Face coverings, social distancing, and temperature checks for all those in attendance are mandatory
- Assigned, socially distanced seating
- Contact information must be collected from all those in attendance to help inform contact tracing efforts
- Enhanced air filtration, ventilation, and purification standards must be followed in any indoor areas
- Ensure retail, food services, and athletic activities abide by all State-issued guidance
As noted above, this should be considered a fluid situation. How fluid? The release also contained this tidbit:
“The New York State Department of Health will re-evaluate the testing and vaccination entry requirements in May, and if the public health situation continues to improve, they may be discontinued in mid-May.”