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Some Tampa Area Venues Are Planning For Full Capacity In Autumn

Rob-Harris Productions, Inc.
The Straz Center remains at limited capacity and will stay that way until October.

A number of performing arts centers and other venues in the greater Tampa area are starting to increase the amount of people they’re allowing in.

A number of performing arts centers and other venues in the greater Tampa area are starting to increase the amount of people they’re allowing in.

While those numbers are growing slowly but steadily, full capacity events may not happen until the fall.

Here’s a look at what some places are doing:

Amalie Arena

Event Capacity: 21,500 seats are available for concerts and other events held with a center stage set-up.

Current Capacity: The Tampa Bay Lightning announced Thursday that the number of fans allowed into the Amalie Arena for the second round of the playoffs will be increased to 13,500 — about 70% of capacity for hockey games at the venue.

The Lightning said they received permission from the NHL, as well as health and government officials.

Only about 23 percent capacity was allowed to attend Lightning and Toronto Raptors’ NBA games at the start of the year, which was increased to 7,000 at the end of the regular season, and 9,000 in the first round of the playoffs.

Amalie Arena’s safety precautions can be found here.

The Straz Center

Event Capacity: 4,327 seats (for all performance halls and theaters)

Current Capacity: Director of Communications Paul Bilyeu said that none of the social distancing regulations are being lifted until October.

“The first thing that we have planned to be at full capacity will be the comedian Tom Segura,” said Bilyeu. “So while we haven’t lifted capacity per se in any official way, the first thing we plan to be at full capacity is October 2. That may change between now and then, but for now that’s what we’ve got going.”

The Straz Center will still hold events at a limited capacity until then.

Upcoming Events:

What: Broadway Star of the Future
When: May 29, 7 p.m. in Ferguson Hall

What: Shockheaded Peter
When: June 9 - June 27 in the Jaeb Theater

What: The Mod Musical!
When: On sale information will be announced soon

What: Dr. Ride’s American Beach House By Liza Birkenmeier
When: On sale information will be announced soon. The show will take place in the Jaeb Theater.

What: Stand Up Comedian Tom Segura
When: Oct 2, 7 p.m., and 10 p.m. in Morsani Hall

See safety precautions here.

Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, Clearwater

Event Capacity: 2,180 seats (Ruth Eckerd Hall), 750 seats (Capitol Theatre)

Current Capacity: At last report, both venues are presenting performances at 50% capacity. A phone call to the venue has not been returned at this time.

Upcoming Events:

What: The Allman Betts Band
When: June 4, 7 p.m. at Ruth Eckerd Hall

What: Hot Tuna Acoustic
When: June 5, 8 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre

What: Jake Shimabukuro
When: June 9, 8 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre

Events and facility updates can be followed here.

Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg

Event Capacity: 2,031 seats

Current Capacity: The Mahaffey Theater will continue operating at reduced capacity until further notice, according to its website. The cleaning staff continually sanitizes between performances as well.

Upcoming Events:

What: The Florida Orchestra performs Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto
When: May 29, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and May 30, 2 p.m.

See the Mahaffey Theatre safety precautions here.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota

Event Capacity: 1,741 seats

Current Capacity: The venue is breaking up its seating into pairs of socially distanced seats for the final summer show on June 20 featuring Bill Maher, which has already sold out. The venue will break for the summer and start shows back up on Oct 29. There has been no decision made regarding capacities for those fall events.

Upcoming Events:

What: Bill Maher: Live Stand Up Tour
When: June 20, 7 p.m.

What: Escape To Margaritaville
When: Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m.

See safety precautions here.

Daniel Finton is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news intern for the summer of 2021.
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