CLEVELAND — Having gotten off to a promising 3-0, the Cleveland Cavaliers will soon find themselves playing in front of even more fans.
On Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's office confirmed to 3News that it has approved a variance allowing the Cavs to now host 10 percent of its capacity (1,944 fans) at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The Cavs' new allotment marks a significant increase from the 300 fans the arena had previously been permitted to host.
A letter from Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud to Cavs CEO Len Komoroski approving the variance shows that the team had requested to host a total of 4,836 spectators at each game.
In their request, the Cavs detailed a plan for safely hosting fans amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which included the following measures:
- The seating of spectators in groups/pods of up to eight members of the same family/party with six feet of social distancing between groups.
- A detailed spectator way-finding from entry into, and throughout, venue, including directions to enter specific entryways and. physical barriers, social distancing markers and signage for queueing lines.
- Masks/facial coverings to be required except when eating or drinking.
- Increased cleaning in all areas, including a dedicated sanitization team during games/events to focus on in-event surface touch points.
- The FieldHouse has been equipped with latest HVAC technology with a control board used to "get real-time information and tweak airflow throughout the facility (including increased flow of outside air inside the arena bowl and concourses)."
- Upgraded HVAC system/air filters.
- The installation of UVC germicidal lights in the building air handler units to disinfect HVAC airstreams.
- An Infectious Disease Emergency Response Plan for handling sick spectators/employees/others during games/events.
In addition to including the adjusted attendace, Gov. DeWine's office said that the Cavs must limit each pod/seating group to no more than six members. It also added that the use of Plexiglass is not an alternative to social distancing for spectator seating and that it will be the Cavs' responsibility "to monitor and enforce the social distancing requirement, prohibition on congregating among spectators, and the other provisions outlined in the sports order."