Miami Heat To Open Two Sections Of Arena To COVID Vaccinated Fans

The lower bowl of the American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat

Miami Heat fans who have gone and received the COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed their own section at American Airlines Arena beginning next month.

The Heat made the announcement on Tuesday to up two sections in the lower bowl section on April 1 to fans who can provide proof that they have been vaccinated for at least 14 days.

Those fans will go through their own private gate.

Fans will still have to wear masks, but social distancing rules will be relaxed a bit.

Pods of fans in that section will be separated by a single seat.

While the Miami Heat are believed to be the first team to implement this strategy, this move will most likely become commonplace in the realm of sports.

As the vaccines begin to be distributed, the rules will continue to evolve.

According to The Associated Press, the NBA says that sections like this will be allowed under specific guidelines.

If those sections are within 30 feet of the court, for example, those fans will all have to have taken a coronavirus test two days before the game.

“You’re already getting a sense that things are starting to change and go in a much more positive direction,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said via The Associated Press. “Just the environment in our building; I remember those first couple games we had at the beginning of the year when there was literally nobody here; that was an eerie experience.”

Miami has been allowing fans in since January and has been using coronavirus detecting dogs at the stadium.

Several members of the Heat team and staff have gotten their vaccines, joining members of the New Orleans Pelicans and Atlanta Hawks to do so.

As the Miami Heat push for this, other NBA teams will likely follow their lead as the playoffs approach.