Knicks, Nets Will Offer Maskless Vaccinated Fan Sections In NBA Playoffs

With New York adopting the latest CDC guidance on masks for vaccinated people on Wednesday, local pro sports teams will begin to offer vaccinated fans seats alongside other vaccinated people.

Both the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks can use over 50 percent of capacity in their home arenas for vaccinated fan section, boosting total capacity at both Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks are in the playoffs for the first time since since 2013, while the Nets have made the post-season three consecutive years and seen as a title contender in the Eastern Conference.

“What was already an incredibly exciting time around Knicks basketball has just gotten even more exciting,” MSG Sports executive chairman James Dolan said Monday during a press conference with Governor Andrew Cuomo. “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.”

Unvaccinated fans must bring proof of a negative COVID test to the arena and wear masks and social distance while inside. Vaccinated fans need only bring proof of vaccination — either their vaccination card or by using the state's Excelsior Pass mobile app. Once in the arena, vaccinated fans do not have to mask or social distance.

Gov. Cuomo noted that venues have the latitude to fully reopen at 100 percent capacity to vaccinated people if they so choose. He encouraged Dolan to consider the idea, though the Knicks owner said his team would make room at the Garden for unvaccinated fans.

"We're opening up and we're opening up wth more opportunities for vaccinated people," Cuomo said.

Radio City Music Hall will reopen on June 19 at full capacity with a 100 percent vaccinated, mask-free audience.

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Photo: Getty Images

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