WATERLOO – Young Arena will be limited to 50 percent capacity, roughly 1,400 fans, when the Waterloo Black Hawks open the 2020-21 season on Nov. 6 against the Omaha Lancers.
Through a coordinated effort with Waterloo Leisure Services and Black Hawk County Public Health officials, the Black Hawks released its 2020-21 Readiness Plan Monday, a plan that will govern all aspects of rink operations on game nights.
“There are many things which will be different for all of u s this season, but we have used all the resources available to make the best decisions we can about the situation,” Black Hawks President of Business Operations Joe Green said. “Since last March, people have asked us, ‘How are you going to play if COVID-19 is still happening?” Well, COVID-19 is still happening, so we have put a lot of thought into making this work safely.
“Safety is our top priority for everyone coming into this building whether they are playing, watching or working. However, the most important thing to making this plan successful is having each individual do their part to protect everyone else.”
Under the plan and current City of Waterloo policy, fans will be required to wear face coverings and observe social distancing designations at Young Arena. Face coverings can only be removed when eating or drinking a beverage.
All fans will be in ‘pod’ seating which increases distancing and minimizes fan crossover when entering and exciting their seats. Unavailable seats will be marked, covered or zip-tied to inform fans they cannot sit in those seats.
And to assure the safest environment possible, once inside Young Arena fans will not be permitted to re-enter the arena should they elect to exit
A complete COVID-19 readiness plan can be found at waterlooblackhawks.com, including a Fan Code of Conduct guideline. The ability for the Black Hawks to have fans at Young Arena for home games is contingent on fans following the guidelines with failure to do so causing a potential reduction in the number of fans allowed to attend.
“The Waterloo Black Hawks designed a plan that prioritizes the safety of all participants and fans,” Black Hawk County Public Health Director Dr. Nafissa Cisse-Egbuonye.
Among the general game day Young Arena guidelines:
- All areas will be deep cleaned and disinfected before and after each Black Hawks home game.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be set up in 25 locations
- All seats will be wiped down or sprayed with disinfectant before and after all games.
- Fans will be highly encouraged to make purchases with a debit or credit card to minimize cash transactions.
“The Young Arena staff is committed to continuing to work closely with Waterloo Black Hawks staff in a combined effort to safely welcome back Black Hawks players and fans to Young Arena,” Young Arena manager Chris Dolan said.
The plan is also subject to change based on circumstances related to the pandemic’s development on a local, national and international scale. Fans are encouraged to follow the team on social media or visit waterlooblackhawks.com to receive prompt notice of updates.
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