New York Daily News
A SAFETY SQUEEZE
• Gov: Get jab for free Yanks or Mets ticket • Stadiums to fill with vax & nonvax areas
Broadway will be back this fall and baseball fans can get free tickets to a Yankees or Mets game if they get vaccinated against COVID at either of the team’s ballparks, Gov. Cuomo announced on Wednesday.
The ticket incentive was coupled with a major shift in seating at both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, which will see new capacity limits and separate sections for vaccinated spectators and those who have yet to be immunized.
“We call that a New York home run,” Cuomo said during a press briefing at his Manhattan office, where he was joined by top brass from both teams. “You’re going to the game anyway. It’s on your way. Stop and get a vaccine.”
The doses available at the stadiums will be the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the governor said.
Starting on May 19, people who are vaccinated can sit in sections at full capacity in either stadium, but must still wear a mask. Special sections will be set aside for those who have yet to get a shot. Those areas will be capped at 33% capacity and see fans seated apart from other groups.
“With this new opportunity for us, I think we will get more families to the ballpark, we’ll have more kids in the ballpark,” Mets President Sandy Alderson said.
The new rules will apply to all large-scale outdoor event venues, including performing arts and live entertainment sites and racetracks, which will only be limited by space required to maintain social distancing of 6 feet for those not vaccinated.
Cuomo also announced that Broadway shows are slated to reopen on Sept. 14 at 100% capacity, with tickets for some shows going on sale this week.
“Broadway is at the core of our New York identity, and a big part of our economy which employs
countless performers and show creators, and beginning this September, the show will go on,” the governor said. “Visitors from all around the world have come to New York to experience the arts and culture and see iconic performances on Broadway, and sadly, the pandemic put this unique New York experience on pause.
“Thankfully, as we continue to monitor the data and reopen our economy, we are now on track to allow full capacity performances on Broadway to resume in September, bringing back this beloved world-famous attraction,” he added.
As of Wednesday, New York’s COVID positivity rate stands at 1.4%, which Cuomo said is the lowest reported since Oct. 28.
Hospitalizations are at their lowest point since Nov. 21, with 2,458 patients being treated for the virus. Another 31 New Yorkers died of COVID on Tuesday.
So far, 58% of New York’s eligible population have received at least one dose of vaccine, the governor said.
With more New Yorkers eligible for the vaccine, Cuomo has made mid-May a major target for a large percentage of the state’s reopening plan. Capacity limits are scheduled to be lifted for most businesses and other COVID restrictions are being rolled back in coming weeks as cases drop and vaccinations rise.
The push also comes after Mayor de Blasio set his sights on July 1 for a full reopening of the city, a plan he defended Wednesday, saying it would give the city more time to get people immunized.
De Blasio, who is one of dozens of Democrats who have called on Cuomo to resign following allegations of sexual harassment, said he was not consulted by state officials about the earlier opening dates.
“I know you’ll be shocked – shocked and amazed. I hope you’re sitting down. No, he didn’t,” the mayor said when asked if Cuomo reached out to him about the loosening of restrictions.