GLENDALE, AZ — Up to 7,900 fans, or close to 50% of Gila River Arena's capacity, will now be allowed inside to cheer on the Arizona Coyotes for the remainder of their regular-season games in April and May, the team announced Monday.
Since January, Gila River Arena has been operating at 25% capacity with a max of 3,450 fans allowed at each home game.
The team said it discussed increasing the arena's capacity with the NHL, the City of Glendale, ASM Global, the company that manages Gila River Arena, and state officials.
Capacity has been increased to 8,500, the team said, but due to NHL protocols, attendance will be capped at 7,900 fans.
The Phoenix Suns recently increased their game-day capacity from 3,000 fans to 5,000 fans, according to ArizonaSports.com. The Arizona Diamondbacks are allowing up to 20,000 fans inside Chase Field.
The increases come as restrictions have continued to be lifted in the state following more people getting the COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 cases have decreased.
“The health and safety of our fans, players, coaches, and staff has been our top priority all season long and we are excited to increase our seating capacity at Gila River Arena for our remaining home games in April and May,” said Coyotes President & CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez in a written statement.
“Throughout this process, we have worked diligently with the City of Glendale, ASM Global, state and federal authorities, medical experts, and the NHL to ensure that we have a safe environment for our fans at Gila River Arena. We are confident that the innovative and tech-enabled services we have in place will continue to protect the health and safety of our incredible fans."
The team has asked fans to download two apps: Clear's Health Pass, which allows fans to take a health questionnaire and gain entry to the stadium, and the AZ Coyote's app, where fans can locate their digital tickets and order concessions using their smartphone.
Other safety measures in place at Gila River Arena include mask requirements for both fans and employees, no smoking, no bag policy, and pre-paid parking and cashless transactions.
Here is a look at the Arizona Coyotes' upcoming home games:
April 17: St. Louis Blues
April 19: Minnesota Wild
April 21: Minnesota Wild
April 30: Vegas Golden Knights
May 1: Vegas Golden Knights
May 3: Los Angeles Kings
May 5: Los Angeles Kings