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College sports can bring fans back to the stands under state guidelines

Sports

(WBNG) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday afternoon that college sports may bring fans back to the stands beginning April 2.

Governor Cuomo says large-scale sport venues that hold more than 1,500 attendees indoors or 2,500 attendees outdoors can host spectators at 10% indoor or 20% outdoor capacity. Recent negative COVID-19 tests or immunizations records will be required for attendees.

Cuomo says small-scale college sports venues can host spectators at two per player, or social gathering limit of 100 people indoors or 200 people outdoors. With recent negative test immunization, this increases to 150 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. Maximum occupancy limit of 50 percent remains in effect, pursuant to the state guidance for sports and recreational activities, Cuomo says.

The move to bring fans back in the stands is part of the state's plan to help startup the state economy, Cuomo's Office says.

Of the move to bring fans back, Cuomo:

"College athletics not only provide opportunities for entertainment and community pride, but also plays a critical role in helping drive local economies. 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. Thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers, we are now in a place where we can begin allowing them to return to games as well. As New York continues its work to beat back COVID and expand vaccine access statewide, we will continue to re-open different aspects of life through a science-based approach so we can return to normal as safely as possible."

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said:

"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. 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. With rapidly expanding vaccine supply, SUNY's protocol of mandated once-a-week testing, comprehensive protocols for student athletes, SUNY positivity rates below half a percent, warmer temperatures, and a hardened, collective determination to defeat COVID for good—having some spectators can be done in a safe and secure manner."

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Matthew Benninger

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