Governor Andrew Cuomo is attempting to incentivize New Yorkers, especially sports fans, to get the COVID-19 vaccine by offering free tickets jabs at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, he announced Wednesday.
With full capacity at most venues set to begin May 19, Cuomo expects the state to have enough one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply which will limit the complications of scheduling a second shot as required by the Pfizer or Moderna elixir.
As of May 19, Citi Field and Yankee Stadium will be fully opened to fully vaccinated guests, the governor also announced. Both venues have a capacity of about 42,000 and 50,000, respectively.
“Come a little bit early and get your vaccine at the gate, you’re going to the game, anyway, it’s on your way, stop and get a vaccine. If you get a vaccine. You get a free ticket to a Yankees or Mets game,” Cuomo said. “Next time you go to the game and you’re vaccinated, you can enjoy the game. Sitting next to your friend sitting next to your family, which to me is a big part of the enjoyment of the game.”
Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, said this would give fans who are unvaccinated the option to not only access games in person, but they would be able to choose their game with information coming to the official website.
“We were at capacity 10,850 and the building sounded like there were 50,000 people cheering, doing some other things, from start to finish. And that’s what it’s all about, it gave all of us spirit, it reminded us of the way it used to be and the way it can be again,” Levine said. “We’ll put it all out on our website, how it’s going to work. Basically, you come to the game, as the governor said, you take a vaccine shot, get a voucher and go to that game. If that game is sold out you go tomorrow night. Go to a game of your choice.”
Sandy Alderson, president of the New York Mets, said this is will be a better bet to increasing capacity at these venues, otherwise they may be faced with the complication of separating fans based on vaccinated and unvaccinated status. Masks will still be required for both groups, according to Cuomo.
“Fans are also what make memories, and they make memories from players as well as themselves,” Alderson said. “With this new opportunity for us, I think that we will get more families to the ballpark, we will have more kids in the ballpark, and will be returned to creating those memories that are so important and so part of our lives. I can remember going to my first major league game when I was nine, Chicago White Sox against the Yankees, and you’ll be happy to know that even then I routed against the Yankees.”
Cuomo also announced that capacity at Broadway shows will also open up to 100% starting Sept. 14. Tickets for shows will begin selling today in order to give productions time gauge what kind of return there will be in September, considering the differences between the open air of stadiums and closed theaters.