Skip to main content

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

Nassau County Executive calls for 50% arena capacity. Concert booker says tours won't run until venues are at 100%. So stay tuned.

As I've recently written, there's a lot of uncertainty about venue capacity as vaccinations for COVID-19 ramp up, and there are no tickets yet for New York Liberty games at Barclays Center, and (seemingly) tight capacity for some other events.

Well, it must be a moving target. As Patch reported yesterday, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran called for 50% capacity at the Nassau Coliseum for New York Islanders games, saying 46% of the population in the county had been vaccinated:

"As you know, the Islanders are ingrained in the fabric of Long Island," Curran wrote in a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "With this being the last season at the Coliseum before the big move to Belmont, my hope is that by increasing capacity to 50 percent, we can give more Isles fans the opportunity to safely 'Rock the Barn' one last time."

Her letter cited the requirements for masks, and the use of the Excelsior Pass to register vaccinations.

Still, it's not about fan wishes to watch playoff games, or the desire of the Coliseum operator (or the County, the building's owner) to reap more revenue. It's about risk assessment. Maybe it's worth doing, but her letter still isn't definitive.

In responses on Twitter, most were supportive. One skeptic who noted the risk posed by those who test negative but then have the opportunity to catch the virus, but then came around when told of the option for rapid on-site testing. 

But can the Coliseum, or any other venue, rapid-test thousands of people? Or limit attendance only to those vaccinated?

Concert tours coming?

Yesterday, NY1 asked Will concert tours return to Chicago and other cities before NYC?, suggesting that announcements do not necessarily mean events:
"There’s not going to be any concert tours until there’s 100% open no social distancing," explained [booker Denis] Arfa. "Everything has to be 100% open - outdoor stadiums, indoor arenas, because the economics don’t work to have stadium that’s 60% full. Because the cost of setting up a concert are so expensive that if you don’t have enough income you can’t afford to do it."
The upshot:
Justin Bieber is listed as performing at Madison Square Garden and The Barclays Center this summer, but industry insiders say it won't happen if the venues cannot operate at full capacity.
In other words, stay tuned and--as has been said before--when venues open up completely, there should be a sustained burst of activity.