By Alice Gainer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Big Apple basketball fans are gearing up for their return courtside.

Stadiums and arenas with a capacity of 10,000 or more can open at 10% starting Tuesday.

CBS2’s Alice Gainer visited Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Monday to see the arena’s protocols.

The Nets take on the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday and inside to take it all in will be a few hundred fans.

READ MOREGov. Cuomo Says New York Sports Arenas, Stadiums Can Open At 10% Capacity Starting Feb. 23

Barclays says it will actually have less than the allowable number inside to start as its ramps up to the 10%. The goal is to make everything as touchless as possible.

Fans must complete a PCR at-home test sent to them within 72 hours, an online questionnaire, and then take a second test at the Barclays Center, a rapid antigen test, along with a temperature check.

“We didn’t want our building, we didn’t want our team, to tell our fans to figure out how to go get a test, stand in line. We wanted to take care of all that for them,” BSE Global CEO John Abbamondi said.


Feel free to get there early.

“We’re actually opening doors two hours prior to tip,” Barclays Center general manager Adina Erwin said.

It has been nearly a year since people were able to sit in the arena’s seats. They have been marked off in red tape in pairs or fours and there’s a lot of distance between them, Gainer reported.

Courtside seats are also set up in pods and further back.

There are suites and at-home-type set-ups.

“We’ve been referring to these as our living rooms. We built 10 of these self-contained mini suites here in the seating bowl,” Abbamondi said.

READ MOREGov. Murphy Announces Large Stadiums, Arenas May Reopen To Fans Next Week

If you want food, you don’t have to get up. Instead, you can use QR codes to order to your seat.

“As far as food is concerned, it’s gonna be very pre-packaged and self contained to minimize the touching of food,” Erwin said. “Mixed drinks, those types of things, we won’t be offering.”

There will also be no pretzels, no hot dogs, nothing with an open-top container, Erwin added.

“We sourced-out containers that, number one, kind of like hold very well and, number two, that the lid latches on,” Barclays chef Livio Velardo said.

And don’t forget to put your mask back on when you’re done eating.

“We will have this paddle to ask them to do so without having to tap them on the shoulder or get close to them,” Erwin said.


In addition to all the surface cleaning, there are also air filters.

“Our air changes out at least nine times every hour, so we are circulating clean air in and out,” Erwin said.

Barclays Center can seat 18,000. It will be working its way up to 1,800 in the next few weeks, and, yes, certain fan fare food like hot dogs will be back eventually.

Barclays says eventually it expects to set up PCR testing sites nearby to make things easier for fans.

Madison Square Garden is opening up to fans as well, so make sure you check its protocols.

Alice Gainer