Seattle Storm will welcome back limited number of fans to start season
The Seattle Storm announced that fans will be allowed to attend the home opener next week.
The home opener for the defending WNBA champions is on May 15 at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. To fit with the state’s COVID-19 rules, only 2,000 fans will be allowed at the game as it at an indoor arena and not subject to the same capacity limits as outdoor stadiums.
In addition the state guidelines, the Storm says it is also subject to WNBA league guidelines to safely return to play and bring fans back to indoor arenas.
“It has been over a year and a half since our loyal fans have had the chance to cheer on their team. We could not be more to excited to welcome fans back to Angel Of The Winds Arena,” said Alisha Valavanis, Storm President and CEO. “We are grateful for the partnership with Washington state officials and the WNBA league office, both organizations have been working with us to re-open with the health and safety of everyone in the arena as the top priority. This is a special 2021 WNBA season as we come back together for live sports, defend our championship and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the league.”
The updated guidance from Washington state allows indoor venues to add vaccinated sections until the total capacity is 50% of the maximum or a maximum of 2,000 people, whichever is lower, including both vaccinated and unvaccinated sections. Unvaccinated sections indoors can not exceed 600 people in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening.
There will be vaccinated only sections at Storm games, where the bulk of those in attendance will be seating, and where people are allowed to sit closer together. Similar to other teams that have welcomed fans back, tickets will be sold in pods. Those pods can be spaced three feet apart in vaccinated sections, and six feet apart in unvaccinated sections.
Masks must be worn by all fans over the age of 2, vaccinated or not, at all times except when “actively eating or drinking” in designated areas.
Tickets for the first four Storm home games are available exclusively to Storm 360 Members, based on priority level and availability.
In 2020, the WNBA played a shortened regular season without fans present in Florida. The Seattle Storm won the finals against the Las Vegas Aces, which will be their opponent on May 15.
The Tacoma Rainiers are also taking up the new guidance suggesting teams begin providing special seating sections for vaccinated fans. The Seattle Mariners, Seattle Sounders, and OL Reign have all returned to play with limited fans in attendance.
The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.