Fans to be allowed at New Jersey sports venues next week

Fans will be allowed to attend sports and entertainment events at New Jersey’s largest facilities in limited numbers starting next week, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

New Jersey venues with an indoor seating capacity of 5,000 or more will be allowed to have 10 per cent of those seats occupied by fans starting on March 1, the Democratic governor said on the WFAN sports radio station.

For outdoor venues with over 5,000 seats, the number will be 15 per cent of capacity.

Murphy said he decided to allow the limited in-person attendance after reviewing a vast array of coronavirus-related statistics, including hospitalizations, the number of hospital admissions versus discharges, overall positivity rate for COVID-19 and the rate of transmission, and determining that small crowds can be permitted safely.

He said face coverings and social distancing will be required at these venues.

“If you buy tickets together, you can sit together, but otherwise, we have to spread apart,” he said.

The order applies to the state’s major arenas, including the Prudential Center in Newark, where the NHL’s New Jersey Devils play, and outdoor stadiums, including MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, home to the NFL’s New York Giants and Jets.

The governor said about 1,700 to 1,800 fans should be allowed to attend Devils hockey games under the new rules.

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