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Volume 26 No. 178
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Disneyland Dallas? Cuban Talks Potential Arena Changes

American Airlines Center could implement several measures to protect fans once they can return
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
American Airlines Center could implement several measures to protect fans once they can return
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
American Airlines Center could implement several measures to protect fans once they can return
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Mavericks employees have “recently discussed changes to operations and technologies” at American Airlines Center if fans “can return in limited capacity before treatments and preventions for the coronavirus are created," according to Callie Caplan of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The new normal at the arena “may start with staggered fan arrival.” Mavs Owner Mark Cuban in an interview with ESPN Radio 103.3 Dallas indicated that the team “could request fans sign up for an arrival time at a specific parking spot … where they’ll then receive a predetermined path to walk to their gate.” Once passing through arena security, a guide “could lead fans to their seats, separated from other guests.” Cuban said, “We may do that almost like Disneyland, do it like there’s a procession and you have people guiding you to your seat. … It may take a little bit longer for everybody to get into their seats to start the game, but we’ll accommodate that and go from there.” He added that the team has “considered requesting advance information from fans to understand whom they can sit near -- those they’ve already been quarantining with -- and how to space different groups.” Cuban noted that the franchise has “discussed new accessories, such as individual sneeze guards or ‘things that surround your whole neck, or lightweight hoodies so if somebody two rows behind you sneezes, you’re not freaked out’” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/12).

NEW NORMAL AT NFL VENUES: USA TODAY's Jarrett Bell noted a "'new normal' is coming to NFL venues" when fans return. AMB Group CEO Steve Cannon, whose firm is the parent company for the Falcons and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, said, "You're not going to get fans in your building unless they feel they can be safe there, that they can gather in a safe manner. Some of those things we can control, some of those things we can't control." He added, "The definition of safety and security is now completely different." Cannon said that they are "considering designating specific gates for fans to enter that would depend on the location of their seats." Bell wrote a "more shocking" alternative "could be an appointed time window for fans to enter." Cannon: "In the same way that airlines do group one, two, three, four, five, six, we're going to create order" (USA TODAY, 5/10).

GRADUAL PROCESS: Yankees President Randy Levine said he would expect the process of allowing fans back into stadiums to be "gradual and there has to be social distancing." Levine: "Maybe you start with 20% of the fans, you keep six feet on each side, front and back ... and you take all the appropriate mitigation that you can to keep people safe" (NEWSDAY, 5/9).