Denver, Colo. (KDVR) –Kroenke Sports and Entertainment announced Thursday that 4,050 fans will be allowed at Avalanche and Nuggets games starting April 2 at Ball Arena.
“We are thrilled to welcome Avalanche and Nuggets fans to the newly named Ball Arena for the first time,” said KSE Chairman and Owner Stan Kroenke. “We are grateful to local, state and national health authorities who collaborated with us to get to this point. We also would like to thank our partners at the NHL and NBA, who have worked tirelessly to ensure a safe return for our fans. This is a major first step in our quest to have a fully packed arena again with some of the greatest fans in sports.”
Ball arena holds just under 20,000 fans.
KSE also announced that the Nuggets game on March 30 and Avalanche game on March 31 will serve as games where frontline staff, health care providers and first responders will be in attendance prior to the first game for ticketed fans on Friday, April 2.
Opening day will bring with it 21,363 Rockies fans into Coors Field after an expanded variance was approved, and as a result the Kroenke Sports Entertainment Group is trying to replicate the achievement for Ball Arena.
The Colorado Rockies received variance approval on March 8 to increase the number of admitted fans from the 12,536 fans approved in February to 21,363 fans. This means that Coors Field will be filled at about 42.6% capacity for the season opener on April 1.
Ball Arena, however, is entirely indoors. This poses a different hurdle in the variance-seeking process that the home of the Rock Pile did not have to overcome.
To put it into numbers, Coors Field’s protocols list that the venue has a total square footage of 500,543, 436,476 of which is considered outdoors. This would give each fan 23 square feet of space.
Compare this to Ball Arena’s 675,000 square footage, which is deemed to be entirely indoor space.
Another indicator on how this variance approvals might unfold is underway right now in Pennsylvania. PPG Paints Arena, the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, has a comparable capacity to Ball Arena. The state’s current COVID rules allow 15% capacity, or about 2,800 fans; this will increase to 25%, or about 5,000 fans, after Easter. Across the river in Pittsburgh, the Pirates’ home at PNC Park will be allowed 20% capacity for opening weekend, about 7,700 fans.