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Arizona Coyotes will allow 3,450 fans at home games to start season

The Cardinals did not have fans at their last three home games and the Suns have not begun allowing fans as Arizona's COVID-19 case rate remains one of the highest.
Credit: AP
The Gila River Arena, home of the Arizona Coyotes hockey team, is closed as the Coyotes' scheduled game with the Vancouver Canucks was canceled Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. The NHL is suspending its season amid the coronavirus outbreak, the league announced Thursday. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Coyotes announced on Thursday the organization will host a maximum of 3,450 fans at home games at Gila River Arena to begin the season next week. 

The Coyotes open the season at home on Jan. 14 against the San Jose Sharks.

The Coyotes organization says it will work with Gila River Arena and the City of Glendale to determine seating capacity each month throughout the 2021 NHL season. 

Season ticket holders will have first priority to buy tickets based on seniority. The organization says socially distanced seating pods are set up for fans. But, season ticket holders are guaranteed they'll be able to sit in their usual seats. 

The Arizona Cardinals, who also play in Glendale, did not have fans present for their final three home games due to the spread of COVID-19 in the state. 

On Tuesday, Arizona had the highest rate of cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days in the country. New Jersey now holds that spot, but Arizona is second with more than 122 cases per 100,000 over the last week. 

The Phoenix Suns began their season in late December and have still not allowed fans to attend home games.

The following safety measures will be put in place at Gila River Arena, according to the Coyotes:

  • Socially distanced seating 
  • Full digital ticketing 
  • Cashless transactions 
  • Pre-paid touchless parking
  • Sanitizer stations throughout the venue
  • Enhanced sanitation measures and additional food preparation protocols at all concessions
  • No bag policy. 
  • All fans and arena employees will be required to wear a mask when not actively eating or drinking and no smoking will be allowed outside on the patios. 

The Coyotes will also request that fans attending home games use CLEAR's Health Pass app. More information on that can be found here.