The New York Knicks announced that if they advance to the NBA second-round playoffs, they will only sell tickets to fans who can prove they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The Knicks are citing the “enthusiastic response to vaccination requirements” in making their decision to require proof of inoculation to attend the game. That’s if they make it to the second round after their loss to the Hawks in Game 3 on Friday.
If the Knicks advance to the second-round, Knicks fans who haven’t been fully vaccinated won’t be allowed to attend in person.
Madison Square Garden Sports executive vice president David Hopkinson released a statement that gushed over mandating the vaccination of fans: “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, 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.”
Knicks announce that Game 5 of their series against ATL is sold out, with a crowd of 16,000 expected. Knicks also say that if they advance past the first round “tickets will be sold exclusively to fully-vaccinated individuals.” pic.twitter.com/XJ5ehfjGmj
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 28, 2021
The team claims that over 90 percent of fans who attended the first two games of the Knicks’ first-round series that was played against the Atlanta Hawks were fully vaccinated. Those who weren’t were treated differently, relegated to separate areas and required to social distance or wear masks when seated.
The rules go even further on game attendance. Children who are 16-years-old and younger can only attend if they provide proof of a negative antigen COVID-19 test, a negative PCR COVID-19 test, or full vaccination.
As Madison Square Garden re-opened to fans, attendees were required to present proof of being vaccinated or a negative PCR or COVID antigen test. The Yankees and Mets were doing the same thing in New York until last week. The teams announced that proof of vaccination will now only be necessary for those with tickets to vaccinated sections in their stadiums.
The Knicks started off the season with no fans at their first 14 games. The cap for the final 22 regular-season games was set at 1,980. Gov. Andrew Cuomo originally planned to set the cap for the Knicks at 5,700 for the playoffs, but then relaxed pandemic rules were suddenly fast-tracked.
Evidently, game 5 that is being held in Madison Square Garden on June 2 has already sold out. More than 16,000 fans are expected to attend the game. The first two games sold out as well.
The Knicks have not been in the playoffs since 2013.
Twitter was not impressed:
So you’re using discriminatory tactics for your round 2 sales
— Brandon Holloway (@blazinorange) May 28, 2021
— COPYKU (@Copyku43) May 28, 2021
— Chris (@ArlieH66) May 29, 2021
— Alexis (@Alexis66447457) May 28, 2021
This is a bunch of bullshit
— Alberto AA (@tripleaaarc) May 28, 2021
Such a joke. College football in the SEC will have 100K fans in attendance this fall with no restrictions. All this vaccine nonsense for a virus that is basically gone😂
— ATM (@stocktrader0610) May 29, 2021
another reason to boycott this awful franchise.
— Woke_troll_69 (@WokeCrypto) May 28, 2021
Screw this authoritarian team, you guys aren’t making the 2nd round either pic.twitter.com/uI5DaPUr1A
— RegularUserName 🔥 (@WyattWillWW1) May 28, 2021
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