Nassau County Executive Laura Curran called on the New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to raise capacity at the Nassau Coliseum to 50 percent in time for the start of the NHL playoffs.
In an open letter to the governor, Curran said that with the number of people getting vaccinated in New York state that fans can still safely enjoy indoor sporting events, which includes New York Islanders games at the Coliseum. Currently, the state allows for 10 percent capacity at indoor venues.
“As you know, the Islanders are engrained in the fabric of Long Island,” Curran wrote on Thursday. “With this being the last season at the Coliseum before the big move to Belmont, my hope is that by increasing capacity to 50%, we can give more Isles fans the opportunity to safely “Rock the Barn” one last time.”
— Laura Curran (@NassauExecutive) April 15, 2021
The county executive noted that 46 percent of residents in Nassau Coliseum have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Curran is calling for the capacity to be raised by May 7. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are scheduled to begin on May 11.
The Islanders are expected to make the postseason, which would be their final run at a Stanley Cup at the Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders reopened the Nassau Coliseum to fans in Mid-March after the state allowed teams to begin allowing fans back into arenas in late February, The Nassau Coliseum is limited to 1,400 fans under the 10 percent capacity rule.
“The increased capacity would not change the health and safety measures, which are in place at Nassau Coliseum for the 2021 season,” Curran wrote. “Including wearing a mask and contactless experience with mobile ticketing and ordering. I have also drawn confidence from the successful roll-out of the State’s Excelsior Pass, which will help us safely expand capacity as more and more residents get vaccinated.”
The Islanders have six remaining home games during the regular season this year. Their final home game of the regular season is a day after Curran’s target date for the governor to raise capacity.