If the New York Knicks defeat the Atlanta Hawks in their first-round series and advance in the playoffs, there won’t be an unvaccinated individual at Madison Square Garden moving forward.
On Friday, the Knicks announced that tickets for games at MSG will only be sold to vaccinated fans if they advance to the second-round of the playoffs.
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.”
The Knicks announce that, if they advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals, they will sell tickets in the next round exclusively to fans who are fully vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/fgJ958rOn7
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) May 28, 2021
According to the statement, fully-vaccinated fans have made up for more than 90% of attendance at the Knicks’ first two playoff games and have been seated in sections that don’t require social distancing and masks. Non-vaccinated fans have been seated in separate socially distanced and masked areas of the arena.
There are currently three ways for fans to “demonstrate they are eligible to attend an event” at Madison Square Garden according to MSG.com.
- 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
Madison Square Garden has been rocking in the first playoff games at the arena since 2012, and while it has been a sight for sore eyes, it has come with its fair number of issues.
On Wednesday night, a Knicks fan was banned indefinitely from MSG after it was found that he spit on Atlanta’s star point guard Trae Young. The Knicks put out a statement after the finding:
We investigated the matter and determined that this patron, who is not a season ticket holder, did indeed spit on Trae Young, and for that reason, he is now banned from The Garden indefinitely. We apologize to Trae and the entire Hawks organization for this fan’s behavior. This was completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our venue. We have turned the information over to the appropriate authorities.
The spitting incident comes one game after Knicks fans were admonished for their “F*** Trae Young” chants throughout game one. New York basketball fans haven’t had much to cheer about over the past decade, and they’ve been taking full advantage of the opportunity.
Win one playoff game and we don’t know how to act LMFAO pic.twitter.com/bks9pHcyiH
— Maggio (@kylemaggio) May 27, 2021
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.