INDIANAPOLIS — After allowing a limited number of fans into games this month, the Indiana Pacers announced on Tuesday they plan to increase the number of fans permitted into Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The team's initial plan, for games from Jan. 24 through March 4, was to limit attendance to approximately 1,000 tickets per game and consider gradual increases for games later in the season.
The Marion County Public Health Department guidelines limit attendance at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to 25% of capacity, or about 4,500 fans, this season because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
On Twitter, the team announced the decision to open up additional seating beginning Sunday.
"After hosting the general public the past few games, we are confident we can safely increase the number of fans in attendance [at Bankers Life Fieldhouse]," the team posted. "We are excited to announce that, starting with this Sunday, we have released seats in the Balcony level."
Fans attending games will continue to be required to take several steps as part of the team's COVID-19 safety guidelines.
The policies and protocols include:
- Health screenings: Fans must complete the Ascension St. Vincent “Screen & Go” online health screening prior to arrival and show confirmation before entering Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Adults accompanying young children will be asked to answer screening questions on the children’s behalf.
- Face masks: Fans must wear face masks at all times when not actively eating or drinking. Neck gaiters, bandanas, and masks with valves or vents are not permitted.
- Physical distancing: Six-foot physical distancing is required while in the seating bowl, in lines for concessions and security, and at all other times in the fieldhouse. Guest services staff and signage will remind guests of protocols.
- Pod seating: Fans will be seated in groups away from others not in their parties, and all fans must sit only in their assigned seats.
- Mobile ticketing: Ticketing will be completely mobile.
- Security: Lower-contact security screening includes x-raying of bags and express lines for guests without bags.
- Cashless facility: Bankers Life Fieldhouse is now a cashless facility, with cash-to-card machines located around the arena.
- Concessions: Food items will be individually packaged, and staff will use PPE and be separated from guests by plexiglass dividers.