Colleges in NY can bring back sports fans to stands beginning April 2

Posted 30 March 2021 at 3:54 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that collegiate sports can bring fans back to the stands under strict state guidelines, beginning April 2.

Intercollegiate sports at large-scale venues that hold more than 1,500 attendees indoors or 2,500 attendees outdoors can host up to 10 percent indoor or 20 percent outdoor capacity.

All attendees must present proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test result or completed Covid-19 immunization prior to entry. Colleges and universities hosting spectators for sporting events at large-scale venues must notify and coordinate with their respective state or local health department, aligning with the state guidance for professional sports competitions with spectators.

Small-scale college venues that host intercollegiate, intramural, or club sports can host spectators at either two fans per player, or the social gathering limit of 100 attendees indoors or 200 attendees outdoors. However, if the school or venue require all attendees to present proof of a recent negative test result or completed immunization prior to entry, capacity can increase up to 150 attendees indoors or 500 attendees outdoors. Maximum occupancy limit of 50 percent remains in effect, pursuant to the state guidance for sports and recreational activities.

“College athletics not only provide opportunities for entertainment and community pride, but also plays a critical role in helping drive local economies,” Governor Cuomo said. “Covid has had a devastating effect on many aspects of our lives, and college athletics was not immune. While athletes have been able to resume competition in recent months, it hasn’t been the same without fans in the stands cheering them on.”

Spectators at college sporting events must adhere to strict health protocols including social distancing, face coverings, and health screening. All retail, food services, and athletic activities must follow existing state guidance for their applicable operations.

“The presence of spectators at sporting events has always been a quintessential part of the collegiate experience—both for the athletes and the students, parents, and community members who root them on,” said SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras. “After Covid robbed our student athletes of these experiences for more than a year, we’re thrilled we’ve been approved in bringing some fans back beginning later this week.”