Future of stadiums, arenas promise high tech, low capacity

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FILE – In this Oct. 24, 2008, file photo, fans line up for the grand opening of the Citizens Business Bank Arena before the Los Angeles Lakers play the Oklahoma City Thunder in an NBA preseason basketball game in Ontario, Calif. The crippling coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire world — including the sports world — to a standstill, and it shows no sign of going away anytime soon. The most obvious change in the short term will be the implementation of social distancing, something that already has permeated everyday life. Ticket sales will be capped and fans will be given an entrance time to prevent crowds at the gate. (AP Photo/Francis Specker, File)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – The coronavirus pandemic is slowly releasing its grip on the sports world. Fans already are thinking about returning to stadiums and arenas.

FILE – In this Sept. 11, 2016, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs fans line up to enter Arrowhead Stadium before their NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers in Kansas City, Mo. The crippling coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire world — including the sports world — to a standstill, and it shows no sign of going away anytime soon. That has left fans, stadium workers, team owners, sponsors and yes, even players, wondering what life will be like when games finally resume. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann, File)

But what awaits them could be unlike anything they have ever seen. Empty rows and sections could be the norm for a while.

FILE – In this Oct. 12, 2014, file photo, fans walk past food concession stands prior to an NFL football game between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers, in Cleveland. The crippling coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire world — including the sports world — to a standstill, and it shows no sign of going away anytime soon. The Associated Press found during interviews with more than two dozen experts in stadiums and infrastructure that the only thing that might look the same is what happens on the field of play. The most obvious change in the short term will be the implementation of social distancing. Lines at restrooms and concessions will be limited. Congregating in the corridors will no longer be allowed. (AP Photo/David Richard, File)

So could temperature screenings and medical checks. Many teams and leagues are exploring new technology that could help with crowd control and promote social distancing.

All of it comes at a cost, both to the venues making the changes and the fans who wonder if their enjoyment of the game will change.

FILE – In this May 9, 2011, file photo, a vendor sells beer and peanuts at a Colorado Rockies baseball game at Coors Field in Denver. As sports have begun to return around the world, the only thing that even comes close to normalcy is happening on the field. For the fans, team owners, sponsors and just about everyone else associated with college and professional sports, the coronavirus pandemic has forced changes both big and small. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

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