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Hawks to host fans at State Farm Arena for first time since pandemic began

The Hawks said they're rolling out their “Safety Six” protocols to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks are upping safety protocols as they prepare hold their first game with fans in the stands at State Farm Arena since the pandemic began.

The Hawks said they're rolling out their “Safety Six” protocols to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as they return to play in State Farm Arena Tuesday night to take on the Clippers. 

The protocols, developed with input from industry experts in health care, live events, hospitality, and food service, the clearly defined approach include:

  1. Limited Capacity and Physical Distancing
  2. Mandatory Face Coverings
  3. Contactless entry, Screening, and Transactions
  4. Touchless Hand Sanitizer Stations and Restroom Fixtures
  5. Robust Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures
  6. Safe Food and Beverage Distribution Practices

According to the Hawks, capacity at the arena will be capped at 8 percent, and social distancing will be required in all arena spaces, including premium, back-of-house areas, and restrooms. Face coverings will be required at all times in all arena spaces. 

In order to make the arena more "contactless," the Hawks said all-touchless restroom fixtures were installed throughout the entire venue. Contactless security screenings and payments for all retail, food, and beverages were also added. Finally, customers will notice new plexiglass dividers at concession stands and some seating areas.

“We take the decision of re-opening State Farm Arena to our fans extremely seriously as the safety of our fans, staff, and players is paramount," read a statement from Brett Stefansson, the executive vice president and general manager of State Farm Arena.  

The Hawks said the plan included input from officials at Emory Healthcare, and added that its home court, State Farm Arena, is the first facility to receive the Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED designation. The designation, according to the team, "establishes a consistent global baseline for health security, requiring that live sports and entertainment venues verify their health protocols on an ongoing basis across more than 140 expert-validated standards and more than 600 checkpoints including health and hygiene protocols, air and water management, physical distancing, the attendee experience" and more.

For more details on the Hawks and State Farm Arena’s health and safety protocols please visit Hawks.com/safety.