United Center welcomes back Bulls fans for first time in over a year

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — Fans return to the United Center Friday night for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Chicago Bulls are welcoming back fans to the arena, capping attendance at 25% capacity with the promise of more access later this month.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker says the United Center along with theaters, museums, amusement parks and other venues — will expand to 60% capacity next Friday. 

Bulls and Blackhawk fans are particularly eager to return to the Madhouse on Madison. The Blackhawks following suit May 9 against the Dallas Stars.

The Bulls haven’t played in front of fans since March 10, 2020 as the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports and altered every aspect of society.

Now as the Bulls are fighting for a playoff spot, All-Star guard Zach LaVine is among those who believe the return of fans will boost the team’s energy.

“We’re going to have to go out and fight for our lives, we’re going to have to go out and play,” LaVine said.

For the last several weeks, the United Center has been the location of the state’s largest mass vaccination site. Public health officials credit the increase in vaccinations to allowing fans to return to sporting events.

There are new safety protocols in place that you need to know about if you’re coming to the game.

BEFORE COMING TO THE ARENA

Pre-Arrival Health Screening: New for the 2021 Season, the Blackhawks and Bulls are
partnering with Health Pass by CLEAR to help fans enter the United Center and confirm
their COVID-19 health screening requirements before the game. Within the app, all fans
will be required to complete the quick health questionnaire within the 12-hour window
leading up to every tipoff or puck drop.

Mobile Ticketing: All tickets for both teams will be distributed as mobile tickets to aid in
the contactless entry process. No paper tickets will be distributed.

No Bag Policy: To minimize touchpoints, bags will not be allowed in the arena this
season regardless of their size, with limited exceptions to be made for medical bags or
diaper bags.

AT THE UNITED CENTER

Mandatory Mask Policy: All guests entering the United Center over the age of two are
required to wear a face mask that completely covers their nose and mouth. Permitted
masks must be worn at all times while inside the arena except when actively eating or
drinking.

Distanced Seating Locations: Ticketed fans will be seated in pods of two or four
individuals, spaced six feet apart to adhere to social-distancing guidelines.

Streamlined Path of Travel: The arena will be split into dedicated entrances and exit
points based on ticket location. Guests will also have suggested parking options to assist
with streamlined entrance and exit considerations. Upon entry, fans must go directly to
their seating level where they can access concourse amenities including concessions,
retail locations and restrooms dedicated to their area only.

Cashless Transactions & Reduced Contact Concessions: The United Center will be
cashless for the remainder of the 2020-21 season to support contactless payment for
food and beverage or retail purchases. Social distancing measures such as physically
distant queues, designated dining areas and the suspension of beer vending in the
arena bowl will also help reduce contact during the food and beverage experience.

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