Governor Cuomo announced Wednesday that starting later this month, stadiums and arenas across New York will be able to reopen and host large events.

Cuomo said the program set up for the two Buffalo Bills playoff games in January worked so well that state officials have decided to allow similar events following the same guidelines.

"The Buffalo Bills demonstration program, which I've spoken about before, was an unparalleled success," Cuomo said. "Seven thousand people in a stadium, everyone tested. [It was the] only stadium to open up for football with testing, believe it or not, with what we did here in New York."

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Starting February 23, any large stadium or arena in New York will be allowed to reopen and host events, following strict guidelines from the state. Plans must be approved by the State Department of Health, and events must be kept to 10 percent capacity in spaces that hold over 10 thousand people. Face coverings, social distancing and temperature checks will be required, along with assigned, socially-distanced seating, and all attendees must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the event.

With these new guidelines in place to allow large events across New York, sporting events and live music can begin to thrive again.

Cuomo said in his daily briefing that while the last year has been difficult, he believes New Yorkers will come out of the pandemic stronger as individuals and as a community.

"This is a difficult time on many, many levels. Personally, it's very difficult. Emotionally, it's difficult. Economically, it's difficult," Cuomo said. "But, we are finding the balance and we are going to be the better for it. I believe that."

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