Overwhelming Response of Vaccinated Fans A Resounding Endorsement For the Return of Live Entertainment
15,000 Expected Attendance to be Largest Indoor Events in New York Since Start of Pandemic
New York, NY – May 20, 2021 – Underscoring the public’s broader readiness to return to live experiences, the New York Knicks today announced that the team’s first-two playoff games against the Atlanta Hawks, set at 15,000 capacity due to Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, sold out. Fully-vaccinated fans are expected to make up almost 90% of those in attendance at The Garden. The events will be the largest indoor gatherings for New York State since the start of the pandemic.
“I hope everyone in sports and entertainment is listening because the public has spoken – they are fine with getting vaccinated and want to get back to the experiences they love,” said James Dolan, Executive Chairman of MSG Sports and Executive Chairman and CEO of MSG Entertainment. “This overwhelming response by Knicks fans – almost 90% of whom are vaccinated – should silence any doubters. It’s time to start booking events and filling up our schedules, so stay tuned. We want to thank Governor Cuomo for this leap forward; he knew we could do this – not just for us, but for New York.”
Tickets for the first two playoff contests went on sale for Season Ticket Members on Tuesday afternoon, May 18, followed by general public sale on Wednesday, and were sold out by Thursday morning, May 20.
The Knicks first-round playoff series tips off on Sunday, May 23, followed by games on May 26, May 28, May 30, June 2, June 4 and June 6. Following state guidelines, fully vaccinated sections do not require social distancing and do not need to wear masks when seated. Children under the age of 16 are permitted to sit in a vaccinated section if they provide proof of a negative antigen or PCR COVID-19 test, or full vaccination. Unvaccinated children must wear masks while seated in a vaccinated section, except while actively eating or drinking. Non-vaccinated fans will continue to sit in socially distanced seating and maintain mask requirements except while actively eating or drinking. All fans must present valid proof of either full vaccination or a negative Covid-19 antigen or PCR test, taken within 72 hours of the game. To learn more, visit: https://www.msg.com/reopening-faq.
“We are simply blown away by the passionate support of our loyal Knicks fans this season – and there’s no question their excitement this week speaks as much about New York’s return as our return to the playoffs,” said Leon Rose, President of the New York Knicks. “We’re thrilled that the Knicks can give the city a way to unite and build on this positive momentum. We can’t thank our fans enough for stepping up, getting vaccinated, and being with us all the way – we look forward to the team giving all of New York something to cheer about.”
About Madison Square Garden Sports Corp.
Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (MSG Sports) (NYSE: MSGS) is a leading professional sports company, with a collection of assets that includes: the New York Knicks (NBA) and the New York Rangers (NHL); two development league teams – the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL); and esports teams through Counter Logic Gaming, a leading North American esports organization, and Knicks Gaming, an NBA 2K League franchise. MSG Sports also operates two professional sports team performance centers – the MSG Training Center in Greenburgh, NY and the CLG Performance Center in Los Angeles, CA. More information is available at www.msgsports.com.
About Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp.
Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment) (NYSE: MSGE) is a leader in live entertainment experiences. The Company presents or hosts a broad array of events in its diverse collection of venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; and The Chicago Theatre. MSG Entertainment is also building a new state-of-the-art venue in Las Vegas, MSG Sphere at The Venetian, and has announced plans to build a second MSG Sphere in London, pending necessary approvals. In addition, the Company features the original production – the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes – and through Boston Calling Events, produces the Boston Calling Music Festival. Also under the MSG Entertainment umbrella is Tao Group Hospitality, with entertainment dining and nightlife brands including: Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Beauty & Essex, Cathédrale, Hakkasan and Omnia. More information is available at www.msgentertainment.com.
Ryan Watson / [email protected] / 212-465-5945