DENVER (CBS4) – Fans will be welcomed back to Nuggets and Avalanche games in a limited capacity starting on April 2. Kroenke Sports and Entertainment announced Thursday it had received a variance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to welcome back fans at 22% capacity starting in two weeks.

The first event to allow fans back in will be the Colorado Avalanche game against the St. Louis Blues on Friday, April 2. The arena will seat 4,050 fans, or 22% of the capacity, for the game.

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Exterior view of the Pepsi Center, home of the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 21, 2002, in Denver.

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

“We are thrilled to welcome Avalanche and Nuggets fans to the newly named Ball Arena for the first time,” KSE Chairman and Owner Stan Kroenke said in a statement Thursday. “We are grateful to local, state and national health authorities who collaborated with us to get to this point.  We also would like to thank our partners at the NHL and NBA, who have worked tirelessly to ensure a safe return for our fans.  This is a major first step in our quest to have a fully packed arena again with some of the greatest fans in sports.”

(credit: CBS)

The company worked with CDPHE, the CDC, the City and County of Denver, the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, the NBA, and the NHL to get fans back in the arena.

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Front-line staff, health care providers, and first responders will be welcomed back early, ahead of ticketed fans, to the Denver Nuggets game on March 30 and the Avalanche game on March 31.

“We are indebted to the immeasurable dedication of front-line workers throughout the pandemic to keep our community safe,” Kroenke said. “We look forward to hosting several of them and honoring their heroic efforts during our first games back with fans.”

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Avalanche and Nuggets ticket plan holders will be given first access to the limited tickets. A very limited number will be available to the general public. Ticket sales will be sent to plan holders in the coming days via email and will be posted to the Avalanche and Nuggets respective websites in the coming days.

Ben Warwick