New York State and Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined a plan today that will allow fans to attend sporting events and other shows in a limited capacity. Fans can start attending games in New York on February 23rd. That would mean the first game the Sabres can have fans would be February 25th against the New Jersey Devils.
BREAKING: Beginning February 23, arenas can open at 10% capacity or 10,000 people. Visitors must test negative for COVID-19 within 3 days of the event. pic.twitter.com/FMmDhzxgBG— WBEN NewsRadio 930AM (@NewsRadio930) February 10, 2021
In KeyBank Center, 10% of capacity would mean 1,907 fans would be allowed to attend games. As you can see above, fans would need to pass a Covid test 72 hours before the game.
Both the Buffalo Sabres and Rochester Amerks released statements on the announcement. Here is the statement from the Sabres:
The Sabres have released the following statement regarding this afternoon's announcement from Gov. Cuomo. pic.twitter.com/U7LnSvr6Iy— Sabres PR (@SabresPR) February 10, 2021
Statement from the Amerks:
Our statement regarding Gov. Cuomo's announcement earlier today: pic.twitter.com/rEXlBom2n2— Rochester Americans (@AmerksHockey) February 10, 2021
Neither statement indicated that they plan to have fans back in the building as soon as they’re allowed to do so. However, John Vogl shared some photos from the arena that indicate that the team is already beginning to get ready for the return of fans.
New York announced that fans can return to arenas at 10 percent capacity starting Feb. 23.— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) February 10, 2021
Are the Sabres going to go along with the plan?
Let’s just say the signs are there. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/1DBIWmLm3a
We’ll see how this situation evolves over the next few weeks. As of now, the Sabres just need to focus on getting back on the ice in general and getting their roster fully healthy.