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Madison Square Garden sets COVID-19 protocols for return of fans at Knicks, Rangers games

"Please Sit Here" signs are on seats inside

"Please Sit Here" signs are on seats inside Madison Square Garden, where up to 2,000 fans will be allowed starting Feb. 23. Credit: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett

Madison Square Garden announced the plans and protocols for allowing fans back into the arena, setting the stage for the return beginning next week.

The Knicks will be the first to allow fans in on Feb. 23 when they host Golden State and the team will begin allocating tickets for the first three games the Knicks play at home along with the first three Rangers games. With the venue limited to approximately 2,000 fans per game the Garden will give first priority to season-ticket holders and suite members.

In an attempt to spread it out among as many fans as possible, season-ticket members will have the opportunity to purchase one socially distanced seating pod, consisting of two seats for one of the first three home games, the tickets starting at $50. The teams will also host and recognize essential workers at each game.

The fans must adhere to a series of health and safety protocols including presenting a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the day of the game, along with ID matching the name on the test result. A health survey, available on the venue app must be completed — the teams asking fans to complete it prior to arriving to facilitate entry into the arena. Doors will open 90 minutes prior to the start with all ticket access through the MSG Venue app. There will be a temperature check at the door and masks must be worn except while actively eating or drinking.

"Madison Square Garden is The World’s Most Famous Arena because of the people who perform here and the fans that inspire them. We are thrilled that we can finally start to welcome fans back, beginning with Knicks and Rangers games, and be part of this important step for our city," Andrew Lustgarten, president & CEO of MSG Sports and president of MSG Entertainment, said in a statement. "While we currently have limited capacity, we’re focused on creating the safest and most enjoyable environment, with strict operating protocols developed with state and health officials."

Madison Square Garden has posted a FAQ on the facility website.

New York Sports