The NBA and NHL seasons are underway, so for fans of the 76ers and Flyers, that means one thing: It’s time to start heading back to the Wells Fargo Center. Ditto for folks looking for a fall or winter concert or live show.

But with the pandemic still present, we’re still not back to normal just yet. Philadelphia still has a mask mandate that requires masks to be worn indoors at all businesses and institutions in the city, including the Wells Fargo Center. And with the Delta variant still spreading (though less intensely than earlier this year), there are other COVID-19 precautions and safety measures to take into account, too.

So, when it comes to visiting the Wells Fargo Center for a game, concert, or other live event, what are the COVID-19 rules and policies you should expect? And how is the arena operating amid the pandemic? Here is what you need to know:

Are there capacity limits at the Wells Fargo Center?

No. The Wells Fargo Center began operating at 100% capacity in June, allowing about 19,500 guests to attend games and events. And the arena is no longer doing pod seating — or seating fans in small groups to allow for social distancing — as it was earlier this year.

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Do I need to wear a mask inside the Wells Fargo Center?

Yes. The Wells Fargo Center is following Philadelphia’s mask mandate, meaning that all guests and arena employees must wear masks inside the building except for when actively eating or drinking.

That goes for all events, whether you’re at a Sixers games, a Flyers game, a concert, or other event being held at the venue. But other than that, as a spokesperson noted, there are “no specific screening steps,” other than for exceptions noted below.

Do I need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test?

In general, no, though there exceptions based on the specific league or event.

With Sixers games, it depends on where you’re sitting. Per NBA league rules, there are no vaccination or testing requirements for general bowl seating. But if you’re in “close proximity” to the court — or, within 15 feet of the floor, scorer’s table, or benches, a Wells Fargo Center spokesperson said — you’ll need to prove you’re vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 24 to 48 hours before the game. A list of close proximity seating locations is available on the Sixers’ website.

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The NHL doesn’t have similar rules, so Flyers fans won’t have to be vaccinated or have a negative test to attend games, regardless of where you are sitting. As a Wells Fargo Center spokesperson noted, sheets of acrylic glass separate guests from players — but you’ll still need to mask up.

Other events and concerts, can institute additional health and safety guidelines at the arena, so vaccination and testing rules can change depending on the show you’re attending. The Wells Fargo Center keeps a list of individual events’ guidelines on BackToBroad.com, a spokesperson said.

Events such as Power 99 FM’s Powerhouse event will require attendees to be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the show.

The upcoming Disney on Ice shows, however, don’t have vaccination or testing requirements, so you’ll just need to follow the masking policy.

Should I bring cash for parking, food, merchandise, etc.?

If you can swing it, no. The Wells Fargo Center has gone “completely cashless for all transactions,” including parking, concessions, and ticket scanning, a spokesperson said. Instead, the venue will accept credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, and digital payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

If you don’t have access to those payment methods and need to bring cash with you, you can use one of the “reverse ATMs” at the arena that will load your money onto a prepaid card.

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All of the parking lots at the arena are cashless, so you’ll need to pay online ahead of time or with a card if you wait to buy parking when you arrive. You can pre-purchase parking when you buy event tickets or book a parking spot in advance via the Wells Fargo Center’s SpotHero Parking page.

While you can buy tickets online or at the box office on the day of the event, all tickets will be delivered digitally and scanned from your mobile device at the venue, the arena notes online. Additionally, there are ticket-scanning turnstiles on site to help keep contact to a minimum, though staff will be available to help scan tickets if you need assistance.

Food transactions at concession stand counters will be cashless. You can also order food ahead of time on your mobile device using the Tapin2 service, which allows you to use your mobile device to scan QR code menus on seats and concourses in the venue.

And if you’re after some Sixers or Flyers merch, you can order and pay for it ahead of time online at shop.wfcphilly.com. Your items will be available for pick up at the New Era Team Store, the venue notes online. If that’s not your thing, you can also buy items at the store or at merchandise counters around the arena, but cash will not be accepted.

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Can I bring my bag with me into the arena?

Small wallets and clutches measuring up to 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches are allowed, as are “medically required bags and parenting bags,” though they will be checked by security, the venue indicates online. Otherwise, bags must be stored in lockers on the Broad Street side of the venue, which run between $5 and $15 depending on the size of your item. Payment for a lockers is cashless.

Are there any other COVID-19 safety measures in place?

Yes. The arena has made “significant investments in health and safety-related technology” for the Wells Fargo Center — including an $11 million HVAC system upgrade that replaces all of the air in the arena’s seating bowl every 30 minutes, a spokesperson said.

Other health and safety measures include:

  • Increased cleaning routines throughout the venue, especially in high-traffic areas.

  • Hand sanitizer dispensers placed throughout the building.

  • Bathrooms equipped with touchless technology for soap and paper towel dispensers, toilets, and water faucets.

Additionally, all Wells Fargo Center employees who work events at the venue must be vaccinated by Nov. 16. A “vast majority” of those employees are already fully vaccinated, a spokesperson said.

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