SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento Kings fans will be making a COVID comeback this week for the first time since March of last year.
Fans will be allowed in the stands starting Tuesday and nearby businesses are already getting ready.
Oscar Vasquez is the entertainment manager at Polanco Cantina.
The restaurant, which is right across the DOCO plaza, could not be closer to the Kings’ home court.
“With these games coming up, it’s just a flood of people, you know, and we already experienced it before COVID, so we already know what we are looking for,” Vazquez said.
Polanco Cantina is staffing up now that the arena will begin allowing fans in the stands.
The team has been playing in front of cardboard cutouts for months as nearby restaurants that have managed to stay open have struggled to make ends meet.
“The feeling of normal is starting to settle in a bit more and it’s just more motivating for us really,” Vazquez said.
On game days, Polanco Cantina will open an outdoor bar to accommodate fans and to maintain social distancing. The restaurant will also set up a taco truck for fans who do not wish to dine in.
“There’s a lot coming our way and we’re really really excited for it,” Vazquez said.
Fans coming back to the stands are bringing renewed life to downtown Sacramento.
“After the games is going to be a night lounge now, it’s all set,” Vazquez said. “We got the lights, we got the sound system.”
On Tuesday, the Kings are opening up the Golden 1 Center to frontline workers only. Wednesday, the tickets open up to the public.
The Kings will be allowed to hold 20% capacity for now – that’s up to 3,500 fans.