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More Fans Than Expected Being Allowed into Islanders Playoff Games at Nassau Coliseum

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NHL New York Islanders fans at Nassau Coliseum

The New York Islanders will see even more fans at the Nassau Coliseum for the playoffs than originally anticipated following an announcement by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday.

The Islanders can sell 50 percent of tickets to fans who have been fully vaccinated with only a three-foot social distancing rule in place for those sections. For those who are unvaccinated, 50 percent of tickets will be sold to them with a six-foot social distance mandate in place and everyone will still need to wear masks.

The arena will be separated into vaccinated and non-vaccinated sections and those sitting vaccinated areas will need to provide proof of vaccination. That can be either paper form, digital application or the State’s Excelsior Pass.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Anyone 16 and under who is not eligible for a vaccine can sit in a vaccinated section with an adult who has had the inoculation as long as they can provide a negative COVID-19 test.

In April, the governor announced that beginning May 19 that indoor arenas would be able to increase capacity to 25 percent.

“My point to business owners, sports, concerts, etcetera, the more vaccinated people actually the higher the capacity,” Cuomo said during a news conference. “Because they only have a three-foot distance requirement. It’s actually increasing capacity to get people vaccinated.”

While Cuomo did suggest that playoff tickets would go on sale on Tuesday, it appears that was incorrect. The Islanders later clarified that playoff tickets would be available to season ticket holders later this week before the general public.

The playoffs are expected to begin either Saturday or Sunday for the New York Islanders. They face the Boston Bruins in the final regular-season game of the year with a chance that they could still move up to third in the East Division.

Last week Nassau County Executive Laura Curran called on the governor in an open letter to increase capacity at the Coliseum for the start of the Islanders playoff run. It was the second letter that Curran had written to the governor to allow more fans into the Long Island venue.

“Yes! Yes! Yes! I wrote a letter last week on this topic and I’m excited that the State is now moving to increase capacity at Nassau Coliseum in time for the playoffs. The more residents continue to roll up their sleeves, the quicker we’ll able to get to 100% capacity for everything,” Curran said in a statement following the governor’s announcment.

Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky was on hand on Monday and called the news wonderful for the fans.

“It’s great to be back in the playoffs for the third straight season,” Ledecky said. “Today’s news that you have increased the overall capacity, and therefore the number of fans that can attend the Stanley Cup Playoffs is wonderful news for our fans, who are the most passionate and loyal in all of sports. Islanders fans are the heartbeat of this franchise and we owe everything to them. It’s a fitting tribute to our fans that they can be at the Nassau Coliseum in big numbers for the playoffs and can celebrate the many wonderful memories they have there through the years.

“Our fans are truly the seventh player. They are now going to rock the Barn one more time at Fort Neverlose.”

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