The Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash announced yesterday that fans will be allowed back at BBVA Stadium for upcoming games. Major League Soccer is expected to announce the schedule for Phase 2 of its continuation to play in the coming days. The Dash are set to return to BBVA Stadium on September 26 when they host the Orlando Pride. The club’s plan to reopen was approved by officials at the City of Houston, Major League Soccer, and the National Women’s Soccer League.
The club’s plan calls for a maximum capacity at events of 3,000 fans, which represents 13.6 percent of BBVA Stadium’s official capacity of 22,039. Dynamo and Dash season ticket members will have the first opportunity to claim tickets for each team’s matches. A pre-sale opportunity will begin today for members to request seats to upcoming matches. It remains to be seen if the general public will be able to purchase seats or if they will be only reserved for season ticket members.
The club conducted surveys with season ticket members during the break in the seasons and found that more than 60% of fans were interested in attending some or all matches at the stadium in a socially distanced setting. BBVA Stadium is implementing many policy changes and safety enhancements to ensure the safest experience for fans. Let’s take a look at the changes and what you can expect if you attend a game this season.
Masks Required: Everyone will be required to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times while on BBVA Stadium property. The only time a mask can be removed is when eating or drinking. If a fan arrives without a mask, they will be sent to the Fanatics store in the stadium to purchase one.
Socially Distanced Parking: Fans are being encouraged to buy parking in advance. Lots B and C on the north-end of the stadium will be used. Vehicles will be parked in every other space to ensure distance between fans entering and exiting their vehicles.
Designated Entry Gates: Fans will be assigned a gate to enter at the stadium based on their seat location. Fans with seats on the east and south sides of the stadium will enter through the H-Town Gate. Fans with seats on the west and north sides of the stadium will enter through the Memorial Hermann gate. Fans in premium seating areas such as the Audi Sport Club, President’s Club, and suites will enter through the Audi Sport Club entrance.
Staggered Entry Times: Fans will be assigned designated entry times based on seat location. Stadium gates will open 90 minutes before kickoff and for the first 30 minutes any can fan can enter through their assigned gate. Beginning 60 minutes before kickoff, fans in rows H-T will have a 30-minute window to enter. Fans in rows AA-G will be able to enter 30 minutes before kickoff. If any fans miss their entry window, they will be allowed to enter after kickoff.
Digital Tickets and Health Waiver: All tickets will be delivered and scanned digitally through the new AXS app. Fans will enter the stadium by scanning the ticket from their phone screen. There will be no handheld tickets. When purchasing a ticket fans will also be required to fill out a health waiver. We are unsure of what this waiver will entail.
Temperature Checks Upon Entry: All fans will be required to have their temperature checked with a touchless temporal thermometer prior to entering the stadium. If a fan has a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, they will be directed to a cooling station to rest for a few minutes before being tested again. If they have another temperature reading above 100.4, they will not be allowed to enter the stadium.
Upper Seating Bowl Only: Seating will only be open in the upper bowl at BBVA Stadium. This is to keep a safe distance between the players and fans.
Seating Pods: Tickets are grouped into pods of two, three, four, five, and six seats. When purchasing tickets, fans are required to utilize all the tickets in their pod to ensure that only groups of people who know one another are seated together. There will be a maximum of two pods on each row to allow fans to enter the section without having to cross in front of one another.
Food and Beverage Safety Enhancements: All food and beverage employees of Levy Restaurants, who provides the concessions at BBVA Stadium, will be wearing PPE at all times. All food products will be pre-wrapped or served in a hinged box to ensure the food is covered when served. All cutlery will be pre-packaged, and all condiments will be distributed in individual packets. All cups and plates will be single-use and disposable. Drink refills will be discontinued for now. All fountain drinks and draft beers will be served with a lid and straw.
Digital Ordering and Contact-Free Payments: All concession and merchandise payments at BBVA Stadium will be contact-free. The entire stadium will be a cash-free venue.
In-Seat Ordering and Purchasing: Fans may order concessions and merchandise directly from their seats in the stadium. Fanatics will allow fans to order merchandise from their seat and pick it up from a designated location in the stadium. Levy Restaurants will offer in-seat concession ordering and service through their sEATz app. Each seat will have a QR code in front of it, directing fans to a page where they can download the Fanatics and Levy apps, along with matchday content and other information.
In addition to all of these protocols BBVA Stadium will also be spacing out the lines, with signage to ensure fans are 6 feet apart, adding hand sanitizer stations, 42 of them, throughout the concourse, and increasing the number of cleaning staff and frequency of cleaning and disinfecting around the stadium.
With the team allowing fans in, and after reading through the protocols, how would you feel about going to a Dynamo or Dash game? Would you be interested in attending? Let us know in the comments.