SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)-- It's game on at the MassMutual Center. The Springfield arena welcomed sports fans for the first time since the last march
Western Mass News stopped by the MassMutual Center Friday, where a USA gymnastics competition was underway. It's the first sporting event to be held there since the pandemic first began.
“Euphoric, just incredible, it’s been a long time coming,” Sean Dolan, General Manager of the MassMutual Center said.
Dolan is celebrating after the downtown Springfield arena welcomed 200 fans to Friday's USA gymnastics Region 6 competition. It was their first major event since getting the green light to reopen at a reduced capacity and with other coronavirus safety measures in place.
“Couldn’t be more excited. The building is here to serve as economic impact and a catalyst for the region, so it’s incredible to welcome guests back in the building,” Dolan said.
Girls from New England and New York are competing through the weekend, and all hands are on deck to ensure that guests safely follow all COVID protocols.
“a visual presence with signage and also with individuals working the event as well, talking to guests, answering questions, and just making sure everyone is adhering to those guidelines,” Dolan said.
Western Mass News found signs and arrows that directed spectators from the moment they step inside. After each session, the area is cleared out for staff members to sanitize every seat and piece of equipment.
“We’ve been following those very closely, you see signage all around, social distancing, decreased capacity, increased focus on hand sanitizers, cleaning,” Dolan said.
Dolan said they are working closely with the department of public health, as they prepare for a busy event schedule this summer.
“We’ve got a lot of events planned over the coming weeks and months, and so just for the staff, for everyone in the building we couldn’t be more excited,” Dolan said.
Western Mass News was told concerts are in the works at the MassMutual Center as well. The southern rock group Molly Hatchet has a show scheduled there for Oct. 9.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the proper name of the MassMutual Center general manager.