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Why aren’t fans back at Avs, Nuggets games? The teams haven’t asked (but it’s complicated) *KSE responds



When news broke yesterday that the Colorado Rockies had received permission from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to host fans starting on opening day – 12,500, or 25-percent of Coors Field capacity – I, like many of you out there, immediately thought: OK, what about the Avs and Denver Nuggets, at Ball Arena? When can we maybe expect some fans to be let in there?

So, I asked the CDPHE today that very question, and here’s an answer I got back from an official there:

“At this time, neither the Colorado Avalanche or the Denver Nuggets have submitted a request to allow fans at their games. As a result, they need to adhere to the specific guidelines for their governing body and specifications in public health orders,” said spokesman Brian Spencer of CDPHE.

Well, then. One of my oldest sayings, and something I tell young journalism aspirants all the time is: You don’t get if you don’t ask. So, I guess nobody from Kroenke Sports has, you know, asked permission from the state governing body that could approve such a request.

Hey, maybe KSE doesn’t want the extra cash or the boost from the fans that they might give to their home teams (that’s a joke). Or, more likely, it’s something that 1. Slipped through the cracks or 2. Maybe they just didn’t know they could apply for such a thing yet. 3. Something more technical that maybe we still don’t know about yet (costs, liability, etc. etc.).

But several other NHL teams are announcing that fans will soon be allowed back in their buildings, including those in New York and Boston, and several teams already are allowing some fans in the building – including tonight’s Avs opponent, the Arizona Coyotes. Denver has better Covid numbers than either of those two cities, by the way. Boston currently has a seven-day average of a little more than 1,700 new Covid cases, while Denver is a little more than 1,000. The average in New York is more than 7,300.

It seems as if CDPHE would certainly consider such a request anyway. After all, they’ve given permission to the Rockies to have fans at games two months from now – a month before the Avs and Nuggets are slated to end their regular seasons.

*UPDATE: Altitude TV tonight put Matt Bell, vice president of venue booking for Kroenke Sports, on between intermission of the Avs-Coyotes game to answer to this story.

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Bell acknowledged that KSE has not applied for a “variance” with the CDPHE to get fans back, but he said it’s because the city and county of Denver remains on “yellow on the Covid dial” and therefore is unable to ask.

“Due to Denver County and the city of Denver still falling in to the level of yellow for the Colorado Covid dial, we are unable to apply for a variance at this time,” Bell told Altitude.

I’ll follow up more with the CDPHE on this. Plenty of restaurants in the city and county of Denver are allowing customers inside their venues, along with plenty of stores that are inside-only.

I did look up what it takes to get off of Yellow to Blue – a less restrictive color on the Denver Covid dial – and this is what is reported on the CDPHE website:

  1. New cases: How much the virus is circulating in a county.
  2. Percent positivity: Whether there is sufficient COVID-19 testing to capture the level of virus transmission.
  3. Impact on hospitalizations: Whether hospitalizations are increasing, stable, or declining.

To move to a less restrictive level (e.g., Level Yellow to Blue), counties need to meet and sustain all three metrics for one week. Counties must engage in a consultation process with CDPHE, which may entail moving to a more restrictive level when they are out of compliance with any of the metrics for more than one week.

In all three categories, the numbers have gone down in recent weeks. New case number numbers are about a third of what they were at the start of last month.


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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Matt Briggle

I’m sure one of the reasons is that the Rockies play outdoors where it’s considerably safer to be around more people. My guess is that it will be late April or May (depending on how many people get their shots) that state governments really start opening things up more.

Aaron Hinton

Here’s a thought: if you aren’t comfortable going to a game, stay home and watch it on tv. Clearly kse doesn’t want fans in the building because the don’t want the extra revenue, nor do they need the extra revenue. Their loss. Good write-up, AD.


I was hoping for the playoffs as a season ticket holder.. hopefully they will let us in then

Richard Trujillo

These people always look to point the finger at others. It is the absolute worst part of this organization. I bet we go multiple seasons with no fans and they will continue blaming the health department. That sounds pretty outrageous right? I agree right up until I look at the TV situation.

[…] For more on the Avs/Ball Arena/fans-in-the-stands situation, click here. […]

[…] that is supposed to make it prohibitive for fans to gather indoors. On Feb. 26, Colorado Hockey Now wrote a story with a spokesman from CDPHE saying, essentially, “they haven’t asked yet” when […]

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