COVID-19

Philly 'likely to ease' event attendance limits in March

COVID-19

Nearly a full year after the NBA ground to a halt as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, some Philly-area sports fans might be allowed back in arenas.

Emphasis on might, and particular emphasis on some.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in a press conference Tuesday that the city has received requests from the Sixers, Flyers, and Phillies to allow fans at games, and that the city is currently looking at its event limits.

"Right now, large numbers of fans would not be allowed under our event limits, but we are likely to ease that back somewhat effective on March 1," Farley said.

"I should also point out," he continued, "that there are event limits that the state has, and we cannot be less restrictive than what the state allows, and so - all of those proposals [from the teams] would allow more people than what is currently allowed by the state. So I can't guarantee whether those requests will be granted because it's not on my authority, it's up to the Governor."

The Flyers and Sixers have been playing for months. The Phillies' home opener is April 1.

Farley's statement comes one day after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced attendance will be allowed up to 10% of capacity at indoor events and 15% at outdoor events at sporting events in New Jersey.

Cities and states, and teams, across the country have handled attendance during the ongoing pandemic differently. Some, like the Dallas Cowboys down in Texas, have allowed tens of thousands of fans into stadiums, while others have allowed low thousands. The majority of stadiums and arenas around the country, however, have been empty since last March despite the four major sports leagues resuming play last summer and fall.