Basketball fans eagerly lined up on Tuesday (February 23) to watch the New York Knicks take on the Warriors, as New York City welcomed ticketholders at live sports events for the first time since the pandemic brought sports to a halt nearly a year ago.
“It’s great to see with everything going on this past year,” said Donny Jones of Queens, New York, outside Madison Square Garden. “This is what we live for. This is what New York bleeds is blue and orange.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this month that stadiums and arenas that can fit more than 10,000 people would be permitted to allow fans up to a 10% capacity, so long as the state Department of Health gives the green light.
In order to attend the game, fans had to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the last 72 hours, keep masks on and maintain social distancing.
Despite the restrictions and protocols, 46-year-old Elgin Swift of Weehawken, New Jersey, said the game was an opportunity to regain a sliver of his pre-pandemic life.
“I feel super excited,” he said. “I’m expecting to see the loudest 2,000 people that you’ve ever seen before.”
(Production: Eduardo Munoz, Ashraf Fahim, Vanessa Johnston)