MassMutual Center celebrates state's opening announcement

Western Mass. businesses are celebrating the easing of restrictions that Governor Charlie Baker announced on Thursday.

The MassMutual Center has waited almost a year for this news. They'll be able to reopen next month as long as coronavirus cases continue to go down.

"Overall, it's great news. People have been waiting for a long time for this kind of news to happen. I think the opportunities are great. I think people are looking forward to attending events and going places," said Massachusetts Convention Center Authority's Director of Communications Nate Little.

Little reacted to the MassMutual Center given the green light to reopen at 12-percent capacity on March 22, after being shut down throughout the pandemic.

“When folks are confident enough to get to Phase 4 Step 1, that means a lot of milestones have been reached," Little said.

Little told Western Mass News, the MassMutual Center will be able to welcome just under 1,000 people at a time for a game or concert.

“I think one of the advantages of having buildings of the size and scale that we have at the convention center for all our venues is we do have space," he noted. "So, we’re going to adhere to the six-foot rules and the capacity guidelines, and we’ll figure out eventually then what that looks like.”

Other changes effective March 1 include indoor performance venues that can reopen at 50 percent capacity but no more than 500 people.

This also includes indoor recreational activities, like laser tag and roller skating, and capacity limits go up to 50-percent for all other types of businesses.

Public event capacity also increases, with a capacity limit of 100 indoors and 150 outdoors.

Starting Monday, restaurants will no longer have capacity limits.

Musical performances will be allowed, but they must still maintain six-foot social distancing, six people per table, and 90-minute table limits.

But businesses not allowed to reopen yet are road races, fairs, amusement parks, public saunas, hot tubs, and bars and nightclubs not serving food.

For a complete list of businesses allowed to reopen and more information on the state's Phase 4 Step 1 plan, click here.