The Sharks announced Friday that they will be welcoming a limited number of fans back to the SAP Center beginning later this month, starting with their April 26 game with the Arizona Coyotes.
Jonathan Becher, president of Sharks Sports & Entertainment, said the organization plans to allow between 500 and 1,000 fans for the April 26 game, with the aim of increasing capacity while the Sharks’ regular season continues.
From the game on April 26th, the Sharks have seven home games in the regular season. The final game is scheduled for May 10th against the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Sharks also announced that they will be adding player family members and organizational staff to the April 24 game against the Minnesota Wild.
The games later this month marks the first time fans have been allowed to enter the downtown arena since March 8, 2020, when the Sharks and NHL violated the will of Santa Clara County’s health officials and one game before an announced game continued crowd of 14,694 people.
The California Department of Health announced April 2 that it would allow indoor venues – including sports arenas – to host events with a limited number of spectators. The three California-based NHL teams were among the last in the US to start allowing fans.
According to indoor guidelines announced earlier this month, if all guests are tested or provide evidence of full vaccination, a building’s audience capacity can increase to 35 percent. The SAP Center has a seating capacity for hockey of 17,562, or about 6,100, but the Sharks said they want to start small.
The team announced that regular season home game tickets, beginning with the game on April 26th, will initially be sold to Sharks365 members, owners and corporate partners on April 19th. The busiest season ticket holders are the first group to be allowed to buy tickets.
Becher hopes other single-playing tickets will be available for those who don’t fall into these categories, adding that ticket prices have not increased.
“We will definitely open up gradually,” said Becher.
Tickets for San Jose Barracuda games won’t go on sale this season for the time being, Becher said.
Becher said the organization hopes to host events such as concerts in the arena this summer after the Sharks season ends to accommodate fans from the start of the 2021-22 season.
“We want to do what we’ve been doing for 30 years. This is the main economic engine for downtown San Jose,” said Becher.
The Sharks announced that all contestants aged 24 months and over must have a negative COVID test or a full COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose being received at least two weeks before the day of the game.
The Sharks said they will offer a free COVID-19 test to ticket fans 48 to 72 hours before the game they want to attend. Viewers must register for tests in advance and book an appointment, which will be available from April 19 through Total Testing Solutions.
Also, the Sharks said they will offer free PCR-COVID-19 tests at the SAP Center on non-Sharks home game days between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Viewers must make an appointment with Total Testing Solutions. The test is valid for entry up to 72 hours before the game date you are attending.
Fans can also get a quick antigen COVID-19 test at the SAP Center on the day of the match without an appointment for a fee of USD 50 per test.
Fans who have received a negative PCR COVID-19 test result from another provider that was issued less than 72 hours before the start of the game can take these recordings with them to the SAP Center instead of other test options.
Vaccinated fans must provide valid documentation showing the name of the participant, the type of vaccine and the date of the last dose administered. An authorized vaccination card or vaccination documentation from a healthcare provider is accepted.
Fans 24 months or older must wear face-covering in parking lots and security clearance areas, as well as in the arena, unless they are actively eating or drinking in an area designated for eating.
SAN JOSE, CA – FEBRUARY 15: The San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks warm up before their fanless NHL game at the Sap Center in San Jose, Calif. On Monday, February 15, 2021. (Jane Tyska / Bay Area News Group)
Also, bags, clear bags, purses and clutches of any size or type are not allowed in the arena, the Sharks said, with the exception of bags that carry medical essentials or diaper bags that are accompanied by a child in diapers. The team said the bag policy will be re-evaluated after the season ends.
Becher admitted the no-bag policy was “difficult,” but said it was compatible with other indoor venues across the state and hoped it wouldn’t continue this season.
“It’s sadly where we are with this world of health and safety,” he said.
All tickets must be purchased in advance. Physical tickets for Sharks games will no longer be issued. Only the specified buyer is allowed to use his tickets. Ticket forwarding is not available for these games.
Tickets are sold in two- or four-seat pods, with six feet of physical space between each pod.
The current guidelines of the US state of California do not allow the consumption of food and drinks in the seat shell or in arena suites. In the north club and on the upper mezzanine floor of the arena near sections 107 and 109, designated dining and drinking areas will be set up for all guests, with a minimum distance of two meters between the tables.
Becher said if thousands of people were to use the designated dining areas, “Would that take up the entire hall area? How would that really work? We don’t want to find out in the first game, we want to grow in it. ”
All guests who want to buy food and drinks must do so via the Sharks + SAP Center app. All orders can be picked up at specific locations.
Outside of food and drink, no medical approvals are permitted in the SAP Center.
All purchases are made cashless. Credit and debit cards and mobile payments are accepted.
Reverse ATMs are available throughout the venue. A limited number of merchandise locations will be open.
All guests are asked to purchase parking permits in advance via ticketmaster.com before arriving at the SAP Center. If you do not wish to pre-order parking permits, you can purchase one upon arrival, subject to availability. All parking processes are only mobile payment, credit card and debit card.