New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that both the Yankees and Mets will give free tickets to fans who get vaccinated for COVID-19 at their stadiums before home games.
The policy, which begins May 19, coincides with a broader reopening that Cuomo announced earlier this week.
"We want to thank Governor Cuomo for his decision, which will allow more fans into Yankees Stadium and provide us additional opportunities to further encourage people to get vaccinated," the Yankees said in a statement.
"If we can encourage more people to get vaccinated by giving away Yankees tickets, we are all in."
"With this new opportunity for us, I think we will get more families to the ballpark; we'll have more kids in the ballpark," Mets president Sandy Alderson said.
The state will also allow the Mets and Yankees to host full-capacity sections of fans who are vaccinated. The seating in the stadiums will be split into two categories of fans: vaccinated and unvaccinated.
For vaccinated fans, the capacity of the sections will be fully opened up, with the lone requirement being that masks are worn. Children 15 and younger, who are not eligible for vaccine shots at this time, will be allowed to accompany their families to games in the vaccinated sections.
For unvaccinated fans, their sections will remain at 33% capacity with masks also required.
Both the Yankees and Mets had been hosting fans at 20% capacity since the start of the season.
Regarding the coronavirus vaccine, the two stadiums will administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only requires one shot.
"If you get a vaccine, they will give you a free ticket to the game," Cuomo said. "And next time you go to a game, you can enjoy sitting next to a friend or family, which to me is a big part of the enjoyment of the game. We call that a New York home run."
New York's plan to get more fans into Mets and Yankees games comes as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to drop statewide. The test positivity rate was 1.49% on Tuesday, the lowest level since late October.
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