Coyotes fans

Arizona Coyotes fans celebrate a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. 

GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The Arizona Coyotes will soon see thousands more fans in the seats. The franchise announced on Monday it's increasing seating capacity at Gila River Arena to about 50%. The move will go into effect on April 17, the team's next home game, against the St. Louis Blues. The Coyotes will cap attendances at about 7,900 to follow NHL COVID-19 safety protocols.

The Coyotes' front office says the team is using the latest technology to keep fans safe during the pandemic. That includes digital tickets, cashless payments for concessions, pre-paid touchless parking, sanitizer stations throughout the arena, a no-bag policy and more.

"We are confident that the innovative and tech-enabled services we have in place will continue to protect the health and safety of our incredible fans," Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez said in a statement.

All fans and employees have to wear masks unless they're actively eating or drinking. Fans also have to use CLEAR's Health Pass app to answer health questions about how they are feeling and their risk of COVID-19. The Coyotes also have their own app so fans can access their mobile tickets and buy food, drinks and merchandise at Gila River Arena.


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