Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is again calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to raise capacity limits at indoor arenas, like the Nassau Coliseum, in time for the New York Islanders playoff run.
Curran called on Cuomo in an open letter to raise capacity to 50 percent if vaccination or negative test is required and up to 100 percent if vaccinations are required for entry. The request comes a day after Cuomo announced that the New York Mets and Yankees can have 100 percent capacity at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium for fully vaccinated fans.
The capacity for those who remain unvaccinated will be capped at 33 percent at New York’s MLB ballparks.
“Your announcement expanding outdoor stadium seating capacity for Yankees and Mets games by utilizing vaccination requirements is a great step forward, and I believe this effort can be extended to other local teams,” Curran wrote in the letter. “Particularly in light of the Islanders upcoming playoff run, I am writing to ask that New York State similarly utilize vaccination requirements to allow for the expansion of indoor stadium capacity from its current level of 30%. Nassau County’s high vaccination rate, declining COVID-19, and the Excelsior Pass should enable the safe expansion of seating capacity for vaccinated fans, or those with a negative COVID-19 test.”
The county executive cited the growing numbers of Nassau County residents that have been vaccinated as an indication that capacity limits could be increased. In Nassau, 54 percent of the total population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which includes seven in 10 adult residents, according to Curran.
Laura Curran also believes that the capacity limit change could help incentivize more New Yorkers to take get a vaccine shot. The Mets and Yankees are offering fans free tickets if they take the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine, which will be offered at both ballparks.
Ahead of the Islanders playoff run, I'm pushing to increase capacity at Nassau Coliseum to 50% if vaccination or negative test is required and up to 100% if vaccinations are required for entry.#Isles pic.twitter.com/bX6zCgOMaP
— Laura Curran (@NassauExecutive) May 6, 2021
“Utilizing vaccination requirements to expand indoor stadium capacity would incentivize more New Yorkers to roll up their sleeves,” Curran wrote. “While also allowing more fans to Rock the Barn in its last season as the Islanders’ home. Nassau County stands ready to partner with the Islanders organization and New York State to make this happen.”
The Nassau County Executive called on Cuomo to raise capacity limits to 50 percent last month in another open letter to the governor. Days later Cuomo announced that indoor arenas could increase capacity to 33 percent beginning March 19.
The Islanders currently play in front of a capacity of 1,400 fans at the Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders began welcoming fans back in March, first on March 11 when they hosted 1,000 Northwell Health frontline workers and then season ticket holders on March 18.
The Islanders have two home games remaining on the calendar and will host at least two games at Nassau Coliseum during the playoffs.