The Los Angeles Lakers are planning to welcome fans back to Staples Center when they host the Boston Celtics this week, on April 15. And while they have yet to announce information on where people can buy tickets or on the exact capacity they’ll be allowing into the arena, they did reveal the rules and guidelines to get in to season ticket-holders in an email obtained by Silver Screen and Roll.
Before they enter the building, those with tickets will be required to show that they live in California and present a California driver’s license or ID card issued by the state. They will then have to show either:
- Proof that they are fully vaccinated, i.e. that they either received their second and final shot of either the Moderna or Pfizer two-dose vaccine, or their one dose of the Johnson and Johnson version at least two weeks prior to their entry into the arena.
- If they are not vaccinated yet, fans can still attend, they will just be required to “provide proof from a health care provider of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of tip off.” The Lakers will not be providing on-site testing at Staples Center.
Once in the arena, there will be plenty of other rules and guidelines to follow. First, tickets will be sold in “pods” that will “be physically-distanced (at least six feet apart from other groups),” according to the email. Fans are forbidden from getting within six feet of anyone not in their pod.
The pods will be limited to members of no more than three different households, which the Lakers say is in accordance with Los Angeles County health protocols. To prevent circumvention of these rules, resale or any other transfer of tickets to anyone not residing in California or over the three-household limit “may be voided and any such tickets may be cancelled without refund.”
Additionally, inside Staples Center, everyone in attendance that is older than two years old “will be required to wear a face mask that completely covers their nose and mouth. Single layer cloth masks, neck gaiters, bandanas, and masks with valves or vents are not permitted,” according to the email. If fans want to order food, they can do so via a mobile app, but they are not allowed to eat or drink at their seats, only in designated areas. The latter has been a policy for media at Staples Center as well, so these areas will presumably be outdoors if the Lakers keep the same guidelines. And likely to prevent people from attempting to skirt this rule, bags will not be allowed, “with the exception of medical/child care bags.”
And while there is no official word yet on what percentage of Staples Center will be filled when the Lakers first welcome fans back, conversations with season ticket-holders and the email hint that capacity will likely be fairly limited, as ticket-holders are being allowed to essentially pick one of the four remaining home games in April and one of the five home games in May that they want to purchase tickets to. Tickets may not be in the area they normally have reserved, but they will only be charged the requisite price for the area they end up in.
The Lakers will unveil their 2020 championship banner in their final home game of the season against the Houston Rockets on May 12, when they hope to have the most fans possible back, according to Lakers governor Jeanie Buss.
“Hopefully we’ll have a completely healthy team by then with LeBron and Anthony Davis on the court,” Buss said earlier this week. “We may not be at capacity, we will follow the rules from the state of California and the L.A. County Health Department and we’re finalizing the details with Staples Center now, but our goal is to bring in as many fans as possible, as safely as possible.”
There is still no word on when (or if) non-season ticket-holders will be able to purchase tickets.