The New York Knicks have stated that if they defeat the Atlanta Hawks in their first round series and advance in the NBA playoffs, that they will be banning unvaccinated fans from attending the games.
In a statement released on Friday, the Knicks announced that tickets for the games at Madison Square Garden would only be available to fans if they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The New York Knicks today announced that Game 5 of their 2021 NBA playoffs series against the Atlanta Hawks, scheduled for June 5, has sold out. This follows Game 1, when the Knicks welcomed more than 15,000 fans and Game 2, when they expanded their seating for fully-vaccinated fans and increased capacity to more than 16,000. The two games mark the largest indoor crowds to gather in New York since the start of the pandemic. Given the enthusiastic response to vaccination requirements, the team also announced that, should they advance past round one, tickets will be sold exclusively to fully-vaccinated individuals.
“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,” said David Hopkinson, EVP, MSG Sports and President, Team Business Operations. “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.”
Non-vaccinated fans currently sit separately in socially distanced, masked areas of the arena, whereas fully vaccinated fans, who make up 90 per cent of attendance, have been seated in sections that do not require masks or social distancing.
According to Madison Square Garden’s website, there are three ways for fans to demonstrate their eligibility to attend events.
- Proof of vaccination
- Proof of negative antigen COVID-19 test taken within six hours of the event start time OR
- Proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the day of the event
Per the Knicks’ website, “Guests over the age of 16 with tickets in a vaccinated section will need to provide proof of full vaccination prior to entering the section or they will not be permitted access to the seat, and their tickets will not be eligible for a refund.”