The New York Knicks want to have a full building if they make it to the second round of the NBA Playoffs. In New York, the only way the authorities will allow that for the time being is for everyone to be fully vaccinated, so the team plans to have that as their policy should the team advance past the Atlanta Hawks. That means that the full alottment of approximately 20,000 tickets to the second round will be sold to a vaccinated-only population.
Team officials made the policy known on May 28 after seeing Madison Square Garden come to live for the first two games of the series, the team’s first playoff games since 2013.
“The energy our Knicks fans have brought to the playoffs has been incredible – proving there’s nothing more exciting than Knicks basketball at The Garden,” MSG executive David Hopkinson said in a press release announcing the plans. “It’s moments like this that show us what’s possible if everyone gets vaccinated – we’ll all be able to get back to doing what we love – and that definitely includes being together to cheer on the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.”
According to the team, the tickets sold for the first round of the playoffs so far have been 90 percent to vaccinated-only sections, which don’t require social distancing or masks while patrons are seated. Use of tickets in those sections requires proof of full vaccination. Children under the age of 16 are permitted in these sections with proof of a negative COVID test, but must wear masks unless actively eating or drinking.
With this policy change, that will now apply to the entire stadium, which previously offered sections open to unvaccinated fans who provided proof of a recent negative COVID test, and wore masks throughout their time in the building.
It is an uphill climb for New York at this point, having fallen behind 3-1 to the Hawks after Sunday’s Game 4. For Tuesday’s game five, the team expects a sellout crowd of 16,000, which they believe to be the largest indoor event crowd in New York since the start of the pandemic.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) May 28, 2021