Fans are coming back to New Jersey sporting events beginning March 1, according to Gov. Phil Murphy. It will be the first time since COVID-19 shut down much of the country last March that fans will be at professional and major collegiate games taking place in the state.
The governor announced during an interview Monday on WFAN that sports venues with a capacity over 5,000 can allow a small percentage of fans to attend events. Indoor facilities such as the Prudential Center, home of the New Jersey Devils, are allowed 10% of their capacity. Outdoor facilities such as MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets, can have 15% at events.
In a joint statement, the Giants and Jets expressed hope that COVID-19 numbers will continue to improve throughout the spring and summer and that the number of people allowed into MetLife Stadium will "steadily increase." They're hoping to have even more than the 12,375 spectators currently permitted at 15% of capacity.
The NFL season doesn't kick off until September.
Governor Murphy announces plans for Giants fans to return to MetLife Stadium pic.twitter.com/3DrGjhUuF5— New York Giants (@Giants) February 22, 2021
The Devils plan to open their doors to fans on March 2 when they host the New York Islanders at the Prudential Center. Ten percent of their capacity for a hockey game would permit approximately 1,650 spectators.
"This is a day toward which our entire staff has been planning, working, and looking forward to for the past 11 months," Devils president Jake Reynolds said in a statement. "Those who enter the building will feel confident that our process and protocols are focused on making their safety the number one priority. That includes maximizing social distancing, minimizing contact, and using products and technology to ensure the wellbeing, safety, and enjoyment of our fans and attendees. The fan's journey has been developed to provide consumer confidence from the street to the seat, and we can't wait to feel their energy welcome them back to the Prudential Center to cheer and celebrate Devils' victories in person."
Seton Hall basketball is also aiming to get fans back for its March 3 game against the University of Connecticut at the Prudential Center.