The NBA Experience: Covid-19 Edition
This season, the NBA is ready to welcome fans back into stadiums. Although each team will be managing attendance capacity according to state and local regulations, the NBA imposed new league wide regulations. Arenas will need to adapt to new protocols in order to ensure a safe experience for fans.
These are the new rules:
- All fans seated within 30 feet of the court must show proof of a negative coronavirus test two days before the game they’re attending or show proof of a negative result from an NBA-approved rapid test taken on game day.
- Fans older than two years-old must wear a mask.
- Fans must take a symptoms survey prior to entering the arena.
- Arenas will operate with a new cashless and contactless experience. While certain vendors will be credit card only, others will require mobile orders.
- Arena suites can operate at 25 percent capacity without testing patrons.
- Touchless security systems will be imposed.
For example, here are some of the rules laid out by the Charlotte Hornets:
Our Chief Growth Officer – Jamie, recently attended the Golden State Warriors at Orlando Magic game, here’s what stood out about the stadium experience:
- The entrance to the stadium can be complicated. The confirmation email for the tickets will provide specific protocols depending on the team, but in Jamie’s case he downloaded the CLEAR program to enter. Through CLEAR, Jamie was required to answer 5 Covid-related questions. Once verified, the line continued as expected.
- Once inside the stadium, the dining experience is almost the same as a regular game. Though concessions, including beer and other beverages, are available, not all locations and dining options are open. Fans still have to wait in lines to get service, and in some cases have to walk further than normal to get a to a favorite beer or food spot. No in-seat dining options are running. Suites, however, do include a buffet.
- No halftime show. Though fans are accustomed to a level of entertainment at a game, due to Covid protocols, no dancers during halftime or time outs are allowed on the court. Instead, teams are recording their cheerleaders and playing videos on the big screens.
- Exiting the arena posed a problem. Though staff enforces distance between fans, the escalators crowd. As everyone attempts to exit at once, it becomes difficult to manage a safe distance. Jamie attempted to wait before exiting with the masses and thus recommends patience.
Overall, however, the game experience resembled pre-covid times. The stadium filled in around the tip-off. Chants and cheers rang loudly around the arena as fans rejoiced each play. The magic of sports can once again be enjoyed live, and we at TiqAssist recommend the experience.