Knicks want vaccinated crowd only for 2nd round if they advance

Get vaccinated or you can’t watch the second round of the NBA playoffs at The Garden.

That’s the clear message of the New York Knicks to their fans on Friday after Game 5 tickets were again sold out.

Tickets to the Knicks’ first playoffs in eight years have surged dramatically since New York allowed large crowd to attend indoor games.

The team’s final 22 regular-season home games were capped at 1,980 before it was increased to 15,000 for Game 1 of the playoffs.

The Knicks have split their first two home games, which drew the largest indoor crowds in New York since the pandemic.

Game 1 saw a sold-out 15,000 crowd rocking The Garden, and the Knicks decided to increase the vaccinated sections in Game 2 that attracted 16,254 fans. They are leaning towards filling up The Garden with its total capacity of 19,040 for the second-round home games should they advance past the Atlanta Hawks in their ongoing first-round series.

Games 3 and 4 will be played Friday and Sunday in Atlanta.

“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 shows 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,” said David Hopkinson, EVP, MSG Sports and President, Team Business Operations, said in a statement.

Fully vaccinated fans comprised 90 percent of the crowd that attended the first two games. Meanwhile, the remaining 10 percent were the socially distanced fans in the unvaccinated section where masks and negative antigen or PCR COVID-19 test were also required.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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