CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to begin the 2020-21 season in just a few short weeks, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things are set to look much different than in previous seasons.
A limit of 300 fans per game will be implemented at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse this season, according to the team.
The Cavaliers said the team has worked with the National Basketball Association, the Cleveland Clinic, the City of Cleveland and the State of Ohio to develop a “return-to-venue plan” that keeps health and safety as the main priority.
In addition to the capacity reduction and social distancing enacted throughout the venue, fans will be required to wear a face mask or covering and there will be contactless mobile ticketing and cashless purchases in an attempt to prevent COVID-19 spread.
Within the 300-fan limit will be a small inventory for Wine & Gold United members and other team partners to begin the season.
The team said it is continuing to work closely with state and local officials about the timing and conditions that may allow for an expansion for fan access and capacity.
While there will be 300 fans allowed during regular season games, no fans will be permitted to attend the Dec. 12 and 14 preseason games against the Indiana Pacers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
“We are thrilled to have Cavaliers basketball back inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and look forward to treating any fans and guests in attendance to an exceptional home game experience in a safe, healthy and comfortable environment,” said Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse CEO Len Komoroski. “We have the utmost confidence in our deep level of preparation and the health and safety measures in place, which have been reviewed by local health authorities, certified by leading venue consultants, and endorsed by the Cleveland Clinic.”
Here are the health and safety protocols enacted at Rocket mortgage FieldHouse for Cavs games this season:
- HVAC Technology: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is equipped with the latest in HVAC technology, including air handling units that feature AtmosAir, a bipolar ionization process that assists with the clean air process. In a top lab study, Microchem Laboratory found the system was proven to neutralize coronavirus by 99.92%. This technology is the most effective system for cleaning and decontaminating indoor air and surfaces.
- Pre-Arrival Symptom Self-Screening: COVID-19 symptom self-screening must be completed by all fans prior to their arrival to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
- Fan Ingress and Egress: Each ticket will provide a required entrance and exit zone (i.e. Sherwin-Williams Entrance, Cleveland-Cliffs Entrance, Discount Drug Mart Entrance, etc.), as well as a targeted entry time to stagger arrival and avoid crowding. With plenty of new outdoor signage around the exterior of the FieldHouse, designated entrance zones will be easy to locate.
- Contactless Mobile Ticketing: Fans will have the ability to hover their cell phone above a terminal to scan their ticket and gain access to the venue in a completely contactless capacity. Mobile tickets for Cavaliers games will be seamlessly accessed via the SeatGeek app.
- Cashless Purchases: Cash will not be accepted as a form of payment at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse this upcoming season. All purchases must be made with a valid debit or credit card, or mobile wallet options like Apple Pay or Google Pay. Guest services will have VISA gift cards available in different denominations for fans with cash to exchange their money.
- In-Bowl Seating Arrangements: Seating will be comprised of “pods” to allow for six feet or more of social distancing between groups.
- Facial Coverings: Face masks will be required upon entry for all attendees (ages 2 and over) and should be worn at all times, unless actively eating or drinking in a designated area. If a guest does not bring or has lost a mask, a replacement will be provided at no cost.
- FieldHouse Neighborhoods: Neighborhoods will feature designated eating areas with dedicated sanitization personnel cleaning and monitoring to ensure appropriate social distancing.
- Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations will be abundantly located throughout the FieldHouse.
- Concourse Safety Signage: An abundance of concourse safety signage, including over 700 digital concourse signage displays will be programmed for communication and education related to wayfinding, social distancing and general guest information.
- Restrooms: Additional staff will be dedicated to restrooms and other high-traffic areas. Hands free faucets, paper towel dispensers and toilets will be installed in all restrooms.
- Plexiglass Screens: Plexiglass barriers will be installed at all concession and merchandise stands to reduce contact between fans and staff.
- Cleaning and Sanitizations: Cleaning and sanitization processes and procedures exceed Centers for Disease Control (CDC) standards. Electrostatic sprayers will be used to evenly disperse disinfectants across surfaces more efficiently. Portal UV lighting units will also be utilized.
- Event Staff: All Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse staff has undergone additional health and safety training, will be subject to temperature checks and will wear appropriate PPE during games and events.