Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has proclaimed that outdoor stadiums can now admit up to 50 percent of their total capacity for sports games as part of the state’s third phase of reopening its economy.
Abbott was among the first U.S. governors to give the green light for professional sports teams to return to competition behind closed doors alongside New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Last week, he revealed that outdoor stadiums could admit fans up to 25 percent its capacity – though the stipulation applied to professional sports only. The new directive pertains to collegiate sports as well as professional leagues.
“Stadiums, whether it be where the Mavericks play of the Texas Rangers play of the Dallas Cowboys play, will be able to seat [at] 50% capacity,” Abbott told Dallas news outlet KDFW.
Most of the state’s businesses can now operate at 50 percent capacity with certain measures, such as bars keeping patrons seated and amusement parks increasing their capacity if located in counties with less than 1,000 COVID-19 cases. Starting June 12, Texas restaurants can increase their capacity to 75 percent while residents should continue to wear face coverings in public and avoid being in groups of 10 or more.
“The people of Texas continue to prove that we can safely and responsibly open our state for business while containing COVID-19 and keeping our state safe,” Abbott said. “As we begin Phase III, I ask all Texans and Texas businesses to continue following the standard health protocols and to heed the guidance of our state and federal officials who continue to closely monitor COVID-19. If we remain vigilant, we will continue to mitigate the spread of this virus, protect public health, and get more Texans back to work and their daily activities.”
Texas’ third phase of reopening comes while the state has seen an uptick in new coronavirus cases. According to Axios, the state logged a 51 percent increase in confirmed cases over the past week though those figures could result from more testing availability, as testing increased 36 percent.