SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- Golden State Warriors fans will finally be allowed back into Chase Center in San Francisco a week from Friday to root for the team in-person.
The COVID pandemic has kept fans out of the arena since last March. On Tuesday, team officials showed exactly what steps will be required to enter the venue and the entire process of keeping everyone COVID safe once at the arena.
Before fans can come inside Chase Center, they've got to jump through the hoops of "Operation Dub Nation" which is what the Warriors are calling their safety protocol.
After 13 months, just getting fans back in the building is a major win for Chase Center. It will reopen at 35% capacity with an extensive health and safety system in place.
"This program is the first of its kind for a sports team, to offer this level of COVID-19 testing to fans at no additional cost to them," said Yoyo Chan, Warriors Vice President of Government and Community Relations.
There are two ways fans can get into Chase Center. The first is to provide proof of a full inoculation at the door. The other is to get tested.
"For every fan who purchases a ticket seven days or more in advance to a Warriors home game, this will trigger a molecular COVID test to be mailed to their home, approximately four days before the Warriors game," explained Chan.
The test has to be taken inside of 48 hours of tip off or it won't count, but there will also be testing on site.
Once inside, everything from sanitizer to ticketing and food is touch-free.
The Chase Center app makes concessions contactless and cashless. Food comes individually packaged. Once fans get their food, they won't go back to their seats with it.
Instead, there are designated eating areas in the concourses or outside.
"The Warriors have gone the extra yard by far and away to make this as safe an experience for fans as possible," said UCSF epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford.
Other safety measures include the most state of the art HVAC system available, a vaccinated-only seating section and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
By game time next Friday, it will have been 407 days since the team has played in front of fans on its home court. The Warriors say they've made the most of missing Dub Nation.
"We have spent every single hour of every single one of those 407 days redesigning and reimagining the experience at Chase Center with the number one goal that we emerge from this as the safest arena in the country," said Chase Center General Manager Kim Stone.
More information on the testing protocols and safety procedures at the Chase Center are available at the venue website.
The first time this system will be put to the test with fans is Friday, April 23rd when the Warriors are set to play the Denver Nuggets. Tip off is at 7 p.m.
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