Sportress of Blogitude

Warriors to welcome fans at Chase Center starting April 23

The Golden State Warriors announced Thursday that fans will be welcomed back at Chase Center beginning with an April 23 game against the Denver Nuggets.

Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle first reported the news via Twitter, and the Warriors subsequently confirmed the plan to host fans at home games for the first time since March 10 last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement posted to the Warriors official site lays out in great detail the strict policies, procedures and protocols that will be in place in order to secure a safe environment for fans and arena staff, as well as players, coaches and team officials.

Chase Center is expected to accommodate up to 35% capacity initially. However, that number “is subject to the State’s physical distancing requirements, and the actual percentage of fan capacity that will be permitted on a per game basis may vary based on local health approval and subsequent guidance issued by the State and the County,” per the statement.

Additionally, fans will have to “produce either proof of a full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test that was administered within 48 hours prior to the game” before entering Chase Center.

In coordination with the California State Department of Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health and the NBA, protocols will also include the following:

Chase Center will have physical distancing and enforce proper use of face coverings at all times.

With the enhanced Warriors + Chase Center app, fans will have the ability to place their in-arena food and beverage orders through the app, with designated express pick-up locations at select eateries and bars throughout the venue.

The Warriors have introduced a fully contactless entry through the use of mobile ticketing, enabling fans to use their mobile device to store and scan their tickets when entering the venue.

Chase Center will discourage all pregame and postgame gatherings outside the venue.

The announcement about hosting fans at Chase Center was widely expected. Earlier this month, Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Weltz — who incidentally announced Thursday that he will step down from his position with the team at season’s end — shared a message concerning the impending return of fans to Golden State home games.

“We’ve been working so hard for the last year with both the state and with our county to find a path back for our fans at Chase Center,” Welts said, as transcribed by The Mercury News. “And the indoor event guidance that was issued by the state is really encouraging.

“Our job now is to sit down with the county and to make sure that we have our arms around everything that we need to do to ensure that we’ll be able to return fans to Warriors games back into Chase Center very soon.”

The NBA is maintaining an routinely updated rundown of where teams stand on in-arena attendance on the league’s official website.