Just a little over a month after Madison Square Garden’s first game back with fans in the stands, new “easier” entry options have been released. Starting on April 1st, there will be three options for entry: proof of vaccination, proof of a negative antigen COVID-19 test, or proof of a negative PCR COIVD-19.
Nothing has changed when it comes to using a negative PCR COVID-19 test for entry, guests will still have to provide proof from a healthcare provider of a negative test taken within 72 hours of the day of the game. New York Rangers, and Knicks, fans can take a home PCR COVID-19 test by ordering one a few days in advance through Vault Health. Initially, proof of vaccination and proof of a negative antigen COVID-19 test were not options for entry. In order to gain entry with proof of vaccination, that guest must be fully vaccinated with their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. The event they are attending must be at least 14 days after their second dose or the single-dose vaccine.
If a fan wants to use proof of a negative antigen COVID-19 test, also known as the rapid test, they must take a test within six hours of the event’s start time. Additionally, Madison Square Garden is partnering with Ambulnz, a DocGo company, to offer rapid tests onsite on event days. These tests will have results available to fans within 30 minutes and will only cost thirty dollars. It is interesting that the antigen COVID-19 test is now being accepted. As I mentioned in my previous article, there have been more cases of false negatives with antigen COVID-19 tests versus the PCR COVID-19 tests because the antigen tests only for specific proteins on the surface of the coronavirus. MSG Sports EVP and President of Team Business Operations, David Hopkinson spoke of these new options by stating:
The addition of antigen COVID-19 testing and proof of vaccination provides fans with faster and easier ways to meet the entry requirements for attending a Knicks or Rangers game. We know this will be welcome news for our fans, who have already been incredible in doing whatever it takes to support their teams. (AMNY)
These new options for fan entry into the arena come just as vaccinations continue to increase in availability. Guests 18 years or older will continue to need to present a government-issued ID with their form of proof upon entry. Any guests under 18-years-old can use a government ID, school ID, or locally issued ID. All other initial safety guidelines are still in place as well. Although large outdoor sporting arenas have been given the green light to open at 20% capacity, such as Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, indoor arenas such as Madison Square Garden are still working with the original 10% capacity.