New York City is known as an entertainment hub. But over the past year, it's been anything but. The coronavirus pandemic has, since March 2020, taken concerts, sporting events, and theater out of the mix as public health experts have flagged such gatherings as glaringly unsafe.
But recently, New York announced plans to welcome people back to large stadiums and arenas in limited capacity, setting the stage for fans to view sporting events and concerts in person. Specifically, any stadium or arena that can fit over 10,000 people got the green light to welcome ticket holders at 10% capacity. And while these venues must enforce coronavirus-related precautions, like mask-wearing, they're allowed to welcome guests as long as they're able to do a good job of social distancing (something the 10% capacity limit effectively allows for).
While this new rule applies at the state level, it's New York City in particular that may get the most benefit from it.
New York City: On the road to recovery
New York City's real estate market has been battered in the course of the pandemic as city residents have been quick to flee to the suburbs. After all, it's one thing to be stuck at home in a 3,000-square-foot home with a yard, but it's another thing to be stuck in a 500-square-foot apartment with no private outdoor space whatsoever.
Furthermore, much of the lure of New York City has gone away in the past year. Many people are working remotely and therefore don't need to pay a premium to live close to their office buildings. And since nightlife has largely been shuttered, proximity to concerts halls and bars hasn't exactly been a draw.
But now that larger venues are being allowed to welcome back guests, it could help drum up interest in New York City's residential real estate market. Not only might renters start to seek out new leases, but investors may take open stadiums as a positive sign and start scooping up apartments, pumping some life into the market and creating a healthy dose of competition.
Open stadiums and arenas are good news for local businesses, too. Restaurants and cafes near these venues could see an uptick in revenue as sports and music fans are allowed to catch some live action. And hotels could even see a modest uptick in bookings if fans from afar decide to time a New York City trip with a concert or sporting event.
The Millionacres bottom line
All told, opening stadiums in limited capacity is a step in the right direction for New York, and as coronavirus vaccines become increasingly available to the public, we could see those limits get more generous. Similarly, smaller venues could get the green light to open in some capacity if COVID-19 numbers improve.
Investors who have been toying with the idea of buying New York City real estate may want to think about pouncing soon -- before entertainment opens up more broadly and home prices start climbing to reflect the fact that the appeal of New York City is finally on its way back.