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Over 50% of Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center to be used for fully vaccinated fan sections
√ Fully vaccinated fan sections to increase total capacity at both arenas
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced that, starting May 22, the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets will have fully vaccinated fan sections that will increase capacity at their 2021 NBA home playoff games at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center.
For the Knicks, this will be the first trip to the playoffs since 2013. The Nets are back in the playoffs for their third straight year. With over 50% of each arena being used for fully vaccinated fan sections at the playoff games, more Knicks and Nets fans will be able to safely join together and cheer on their teams.
Individuals seated in the vaccinated sections will have to show proof of full COVID-19 immunization status, which can be provided through paper form, digital application or the state's Excelsior Pass.
"As we continue to monitor the metrics across the state, we are strategically reopening our economy and making it possible for more fans to attend sporting events in person," Cuomo said. "Thanks to the progress New Yorkers have achieved thus far in beating back COVID, the Knicks and the Nets will be able to welcome more fans at their home games, which is great news for sports fans – and another encouraging sign of how far we've come since the pandemic upended our lives."
MSG Sports Executive Chairman James Dolan said, "What was already an incredibly exciting time around Knicks basketball has just gotten even more exciting – and we'd like to thank Gov. Cuomo for making it happen. All of those fans for Knicks playoff games are going to be loud, they're going to be passionate, and they're going to be ready. The Garden is going to rock. We hope the team gives all of New York something to cheer about, and that this marks the start of a busy summer for the growing number of vaccinated people who can now begin to enjoy more opportunities to celebrate together – at our venues and beyond."
BSE Global CEO John Abbamondi said, "We are thrilled that more Nets fans will be able to experience NBA Playoffs in-person. Fans are crucial in creating the exciting live event atmosphere we know and love, and we are looking forward to having them bring that energy to Barclays Center. Thank you to Gov. Cuomo and his team for their leadership in helping businesses safely return as more New Yorkers get vaccinated."
Young adults and children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, or under the age of 16 who have not yet been able to be vaccinated, may accompany and be seated with a vaccinated adult in a fully vaccinated section so long as they have received a recent negative COVID-19 test result, which remains required at New York's large-scale event venues pursuant to the state's health guidance. Appropriate social distancing, masks and other applicable health protocols will still apply throughout the arenas.