The program was announced today by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The Yankee and Mets are the two latest teams to move toward vaccinated-only sections; these sections will eliminate social distancing, though mask usage is still mandatory. For those not fully vaccinated, sections with six-foot social distancing will be offered, with 33 percent seating capacity. The new capacity guidelines, which also include a general 33 percent capacity for other ballparks in the state, go into effect May 19. The new rules regarding vaccinated-only sections will apply to other MiLB and independent ballparks in the state: The Long Island Ducks (Atlantic League) have already announced they will implement vaccinated-only sections at Fairfield Properties Ballpark.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres already offer vaccinated-only sections, while the Atlanta Hawks (NBA) are planning a vaccination section during the 2020-2021 NBA season playoffs at State Farm Arena.
In a related announcement from Cuomo, the Yankees and Mets will offer free tickets to a game for those receiving the one-dose J&J vaccine on game day at the ballpark: “You take a vaccine shot, get a voucher, you can go to that game,” Randy Levine, the president of the New York Yankees, said at Cuomo’s news conference. “If that game’s sold out, you can go tomorrow night, go to a game of your choice.”
The move comes as part of the city and state plan to reopen New York City, an area hard-hit by the coronavirus. In addition to the ballpark capacity limitations being raised. Cuomo announced Broadway theaters will be able to operate at full capacity on Sept. 14.
UPDATE: The Hartford Yard Goats (Double-A Northeast) are going a step beyond and offering four tickets to an upcoming game for fans being vaccinated at the ballpark. The vaccinations will be available during weekday Yard Goats games on Tuesday, May 11 (Opening Night), Wednesday, May 12, Tuesday, May 18, and Wednesday, May 19 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Weekend vaccinations will take place on Sunday, May 16 and Sunday, May 23 from 12:30-2:30 p.m.
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