Knicks, Nets, Isles return to playoffs with biggest crowds in NY since pandemic

NBA
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BROOKLYN — Excitement surrounding several arenas ahead of some big playoff games this weekend, where the athletes will play in front of thousands of more fans, tearing capacity limits. 

For the first time since the pandemic, people can pack Barclays Center, without a mask or social distancing. It’s an incentive only if you’re fully vaccinated.

Barclays Center General Manager, Adina Erwin, applauds the state’s efforts to raise capacity limits inside Barclays and Madison Square Garden from 10% to at least 50%.

“It’s really trying to get back to what we all have experienced as that collective togetherness in cheering on our teams, it’s been what’s driving that and I think people are hungry for it,” said Erwin.

Unvaccinated fans can still watch their teams play live on the hardcourt, but plan on paying more for a ticket, and you’ll be assigned a designated unvaccinated section.

The Garden is bracing for 15,000 fans Sunday when the Knicks take on the Atlanta Hawks, for the team’s first playoff game since 2013.

The Knicks would go from nearly 2,000 fans amid COVID-19 restrictions to a capacity of 15,000, the highest in the NBA.

The demand to get inside the Mecca of Basketball was so high, tickets to the first two playoff games are sold out and some fans dished out up to $6,000 to be a part of the largest indoor crowd for a sporting event in the U.S. since the pandemic.

A different ballgame over at Barclays, where NBA superstar James Harden is using his influence to promote ticket sales to see the Nets emerge postseason.

On the ice, hype surrounds the New York Islanders, who gear up for Game 4 Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, with rowdy crowds embracing a half full Nassau Coliseum.

At Yankee Stadium, new sections are being opened up for this weekend’s series against the White Sox to accommodate those fully vaccinated.

All around, it’s a win-win for the fans who are ready to fill the stands. 

To increase vaccinations, the Nets have partnered with the city to open a COVID-19 vaccination site for those 12 years or older, just across the street from Barclays at the Modell’s Sporting Goods building. It begins Saturday.

Young adults and children who aren’t yet eligible of getting the vaccine and plan on attending a game will need to test negative.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Manhattan Videos

'Sunday' for Sondheim: Remembering a musical titan

Subway concerns rise after second fatal stabbing

Man stabbed to death near Penn Station on Thanksgiving

Streets around Rockefeller Center close to cars for the holidays

Streets around Rockefeller Center closing to cars for the holidays

More Manhattan

Brooklyn Videos

'They don’t have money to spend': Brooklyn residents hungry for food, community this Thanksgiving

3 officers injured in 2 incidents Wednesday

Gowanus rezoning, construction isn't without concerns

The Missing: Family pleads for loved one's return 16 years after coming out, going missing

Body found in bag on Brooklyn sidewalk

Woman charged with murder in Brooklyn point-blank shooting after being apprehended in Florida: NYPD

More Brooklyn

Long Island Videos

Rep. Suozzi announces run for governor

L.I. elementary school gives back for Thanksgiving

LI community comes together to feed homeless before Thanksgiving

‘He told me I was special’: Babylon HS alumni make sex abuse allegations against coaches, teachers

Paws of War helps veterans get training for their dogs

More Long Island

Connect with PIX11 Online

Connect with PIX11 Online

Trending Stories

Global Coronavirus Tracker

Follow us on Facebook

Don't Miss

@PIX11News on Twitter