The PBA saw the biggest audience since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic when 6,802 fans came for the two Governors’ Cup games held Sunday, March 6 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Loosened restrictions due to the Alert Level 1 status In Metro Manila enabled fans to show up for the matches that saw Magnolia Pambansang Manok prevailing over Alaska and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel edging out Rain or Shine.
Both matches exceeded the previous high of more than 4,800 last Christmas at the Big Dome when Phoenix Super LPG won over NLEX and Magnolia routing Ginebra, with the league allowing a 50-percent capacity since NCR was then under Alert Level 2.
But the downgrading of the alert level status prompted the league to implement a full capacity starting last Wednesday, though it took some before the Big Dome seats were occupied.
Though it was an encouraging sign that the league is close to returning to pre-pandemic normalcy, health and safety precautions are still being implemented.
Fans will only be allowed to enter the premises as long as they are fully vaccinated and can present a government ID and a Kyusi pass, which can be registered online.
Masks are required to be worn while inside the venue, with Araneta security personnel tasked to reprimanded those who would do otherwise.
Attendance could increase as the elimination round winds down this week before the season-ending conference heads to the playoffs.