Opening up. Murphy OKs limited fans at sport, entertainment venues

| 24 Feb 2021 | 07:14

    Fans will be allowed to attend sports and entertainment events at New Jersey’s largest facilities in limited numbers starting next week, Gov. Phil Murphy.

    New Jersey venues with an indoor seating capacity of 5,000 or more will be allowed to have 10 percent of those seats occupied by fans starting on March 1, the Democratic governor said on the WFAN sports radio station.

    For outdoor venues over 5,000 seats, the number will be 15 percent of capacity.

    He said face coverings and social distancing will be required at these venues.

    The order applies to the state’s major arenas, including the Prudential Center in Newark, where the NHL’s New Jersey Devils play, and outdoor stadiums including MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, home to the NFL’s New York Giants and Jets.

    The governor said about 1,700 to 1,800 fans should be allowed to attend Devils hockey games under the new rules.

    Murphy said he is optimistic that by the time the NFL season begins in September, capacity limits may be further raised, barring any major setbacks in dealing with the pandemic.

    The order also applies to large concert venues, although it remains to be seen how many acts will play to a 90 percent empty hall.

    Religious services

    Murphy also announced that greater numbers of people will be able to gather for religious services.

    Such events, including wedding ceremonies, funerals, and memorial services that involve a religious service, will be able to operate at 50% capacity of the room in which they are held, with no cap on the number of individuals permitted to attend. Services were previously limited to 35% of the room, up to 150 individuals.

    - The Associated Press