NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NFL To Let 6,700 Buffalo Payments Followers Attend First House Playoff Recreation Since 1996 — With Adverse Covid Take a look at – .
Andrew Cuomo, New York Governor, who generally takes a conservative approach to managing Covid-19 in the state, raised his eyebrows by supporting a plan to allow fans to play a Buffalo Bills playoff game next month .
Up to 6,772 fans are eligible for the game, which will be played on January 9th or 10th (depending on the season’s final results) at 72,000-seat Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, NY. Ticket buyers will only be admitted if they receive a negative result of a coronavirus test on site. Contact tracking is also carried out for all participants.
Even with strict boundaries in place, the decision is a notable reversal for New York, which has imposed strict bans on gatherings in large spaces, including outdoors, and persecuted those who try to violate the rules. The move sparked backlash among health professionals and a number of state and local officials who expressed concern about the limited supply of rapid test kits and the general wisdom of backtracking for an NFL game.
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Cinemas and Broadway venues have been closed since mid-March, to the agony of many. By locking down many parts of the economy and society, the state has been able to move from the epicenter of the US infection last spring to a state with a more manageable infection rate. Cuomo has gone to court to oppose the convening of services in churches and other religious houses during the pandemic. (The US Supreme Court earlier this month gave him a setback in a 5-4 statement that was one of the first since Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation.)
The Bills have a record of 12-3 and are sent to the playoffs for the third time in the last four years. This year’s team has reached a higher level than any other since the Super Bowl teams of the 90s. The playoff game will be the first to be played at home since 1996, and local and regional pride in the team’s upswing is a factor that can hardly be neglected.
Masks and social distancing are required in the stadium, which Cuomo says is an open-air venue. The governor said this was “the difference in the world from an indoor venue”. Tailgating and the usual pre-game celebrations, which, according to unusual local custom, often involve drunk fans jumping onto tables from great heights (don’t ask), are not permitted. “To Bills fans – be smart, ”Cuomo wrote on Twitter.
The game is viewed as a “pilot” effort, Cumo said during a briefing, and it will be billed as the first event in the US to run so much testing in such a short amount of time. “If that goes well, you would try to expand it,” he said. He called it “Step 1” but added that he “doesn’t see a key to the door behind that key”. The only key you have is quick tests. So we’re going to be exploring it aggressively, and that’s exactly what we’re doing now. “
Cuomo said he plans to be tested and watch the game live.
Football across New York at the high school, college, and pro levels in 2020 was either postponed or played in empty stadiums, with the exception of state army games at West Point. The majority of the NFL stadiums have remained empty this year as well, although many have seen small numbers of fans over the course of the season as virus numbers fluctuate. Some states – Texas, Florida, and Missouri in particular – have consistently allowed up to 25% capacity for their teams’ games since the game began in September.
Hundreds of NFL players, coaches, and staff tested positive and there have been outbreaks in multiple team facilities, but fan-to-fan broadcasts have been limited to a small handful of cases. Security experts have long warned of the “super-spreader” potential of traditionally mounted sporting events, an important reason why the top sporting leagues took longer breaks with their seasons throughout spring. The NFL, which has left preseason and other parts of its usual build-up behind, has managed to play a full regular season with minimal disruption and continues to intend to play the Super Bowl in Tampa, FL on schedule in February.