Gov. Murphy OKs limited fans at top sports, entertainment venues starting next week
Gov. Phil Murphy says fans will be allowed to attend sports and entertainment events in limited numbers starting next week at New Jersey’s largest facilities.
Speaking Monday on the WFAN sports radio station, the governor said state venues with an indoor seating capacity of 5,000 or more, such as the Prudential Center in Newark, will be allowed to have 10% of those seats occupied by fans starting March 1.
For outdoor venues over 5,000 seats, the number will be 15% of capacity.
Murphy said he decided to allow the limited in-person attendance after reviewing a vast array of coronavirus-related statistics and determining that small crowds can be permitted safely. Mask wearing and distancing are still in effect. Some fans say they feel comfortable returning.
“If they keep everybody socially distanced, I don’t see a problem with it,” says Christopher Abney, of West Orange.
The Prudential Center can hold more than 19,000 people, so just shy of 2,000 people can soon take part in the action.
Seton Hall officials say, “We are currently working with Prudential Center to review the ability to host spectators at our March 3 men’s basketball game versus the University of Connecticut, and we will communicate further details when they become available.”
Rutgers men's basketball has three games left. Capacity at the Rutgers Athletic Center is 8,000, which means they can have 800 fans cheer them on.
Major League Soccer kicks off in April. Red Bull Arena can hold 25,000 fans, so 3,750 fans can attend.
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“I think we’re ready,” says Justin Cordero, of Bloomfield. “People are drooling to get back, so I’m excited for it and as soon as I get a chance to go, I will go myself.”
The Somerset Patriots are the Yankees' new AA affiliate. They play at TD Bank Ballpark, which can hold 6,100. It's outside, so that means 915 fans can watch.
AP wire services helped contribute to this report.