Based on updated health advice, major sporting events at selected Sydney stadiums can increase crowds from 25% to 50% capacity (up to a maximum of 40,000 spectators) from 1 October 2020.
The NSW Government today announced Stadium Australia and Bankwest Stadium have supplied detailed COVIDSafe plans, which will allow the venues to host ticketed and seated-only events with increased crowds. The SCG has also provided detailed plans and these are currently being reviewed by NSW Health.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the decision follows updated health advice from Dr Kerry Chant and will help create jobs and stimulate the economy, key goals of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.
“Our number one priority is the health and safety of the people of NSW, however it is no secret we’re also focused on firing up the economy,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Safely allowing more fans at in-demand major sporting events will bring enjoyment, employment and help stimulate the NSW economy.”
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the detailed COVIDSafe plans will ensure spectators are kept as safe as possible while attending stadiums.
“NSW Health has worked closely with other government agencies to review the COVID safety plans,” Dr Chant said.
Spectators who attend are expected to wear a mask when they are not sitting at their seat. This means they should wear a mask on public transport getting to the venue, when using stadium facilities, and walking to and from their seats.
The strict COVIDSafe protocols will see spectators sit in different zones with different entry and exit zones, different hospitality areas and amenities to prevent mixing of spectators across zones and assist in contact tracing if an infectious person attends the event.
While spectators will be at a maximum of 50%, staffing will be at 100% prevent crowding in common areas, such as in lines for food and beverages.
The one person per 4 metre square rule will continue to apply in many areas of the stadium. A unique chequerboard seating arrangement and ticket allocation process will ensure physical distancing of participants when seated.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the recently established Events Taskforce had worked hard to reach an outcome which would allow as many people as possible to support live sport.
“There is nothing like the enthusiasm of the crowd at a major sporting event and, after a winter of hibernation, the people of NSW are more ready than ever to go and see their team in action in a safe environment.”
The Events Taskforce, which includes the Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister Ayres, is working with NSW Health to assess increasing capacity at MacDonald Jones Stadium, WIN Stadium, Ken Rosewall Arena and Penrith Stadium.