The NBA's Chicago Bulls and NHL's Chicago Blackhawks are going with a "better late than never" approach to welcoming paying spectators back to the United Center.
In a joint statement released on Thursday, the two organizations announced they've been permitted to welcome fans at 25% capacity beginning when the Bulls host the Boston Celtics on May 7. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, will have to wait until their home game against the Dallas Stars on May 9.
Starting this Saturday, the clubs will host family members and other invited guests to test new methods for allowing crowds amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As other franchises have done throughout 2021, the Bulls and Blackhawks will mandate that fans answer pre-arrival health screening questions and use only mobile tickets for entry. Tickets will be sold in pods of two or four seats and will be spaced apart to allow for social distancing.
The United Center will go cashless for concessions and retail purchases throughout the remainder of the 2020-21 seasons, and all guests over the age of two will be required to wear masks over their noses and mouths when not actively eating and/or drinking inside the venue.