Today, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the city's new plan "Open Chicago". The first major update is that restaurants and bars can now operate at 50% of their indoor capacity. This is great news for all the beer-drinkers who follow us and look forward to getting back into the realm of the cold beverages on tap.
The more important update involves the Madhouse on Madison, which will begin allowing fans again starting on May 7! The city of Chicago is allowing the United Center to host 25% capacity of their fans starting with the May 7th Bulls vs. Celtics game. The first Blackhawks game will be May 9th, where they will host the Dallas Stars.
New COVID-19 Protocols
The return to the United Center of course comes with higher caution in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a few steps to follow in order to be admitted into the facility.
The new Health Pass app by CLEAR, will be required by all fans. In this app there is a questionnaire that must be submitted and inquires about each individual's recent history of health.
Each fan will be utilizing mobile ticketing to reduce cross-contamination and physical touching, as well as adhering to all physical distancing mandates.
Personal bags will not be allowed in with the exception of medical bags and diaper bags and masks are required, of course.
Personal Pods Seating
Similarly to what the MLB has done, there will be unique personal seating pods inside the United Center. There are specific entrances and exits, as well as amenities and restrooms for those specific areas. They have also confirmed that all food and drink transactions will be electronic only, to reduce physical contact.
The United Center has gone to great lengths to insure staff members are implementing a higher rate of cleaning and disinfecting. They've also placed hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility.
This fantastic news is only the beginning of the city getting back to some pre-pandemic normalcy. The fans have a huge responsibility to ensure that these guidelines are followed strictly. If we want to open up more for the upcoming NFL season, then the Chicago fans must do our part to support the changes.