NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes that the Brooklyn Nets’ upcoming participation in the NBA Playoffs can give the city an assist in its efforts to vaccinate more New Yorkers.

While wearing a Nets jersey and hat, the mayor announced Tuesday that the city and the Nets were teaming up.

“The Nets are now going to be joining the battle against COVID with a mobile vaccination site right outside Barclays Center,” the mayor said at a news conference announcing the offer.

What You Need To Know

  • De Blasio announces NYC will team up with Nets to incentivize COVID-19 vaccination efforts with a chance to win free tickets to a playoff game

  • As part of the partnership and giveaway, the Nets will host a mobile vaccination unit on the day of and the day before home games at Barclays Center.

  • The hope is that the offer will encourage unvaccinated fans to get their shots, but some previously vaccinated NYC residents could still qualify for the giveaway

  • NYC residents already vaccinated can still qualify to enter the team’s raffle if they live in one of 33 neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by the pandemic

According to the Nets, the new vaccination site will only be available the day of and the day before home games. The mobile vaccination site will actually be set up across the street from the Barclays, at 143 Flatbush Avenue.

The Nets’ offer is in line with some of the other giveaways announced in recent weeks. The Mets and the Yankees announced earlier this year that they would offer free tickets to an upcoming game to those vaccinated at their respective stadiums on specific dates.

But the Nets’ offer is different in that the tickets the team is offering would be to a playoff game, as opposed to a regular season game.

“I feel like it’s giving the fans a little more of a present,” Nets fan Joshua Foster said about the ticket offer.

“It will be a big incentive for people,” said Debra Hamilton, another Nets fan.

NBA playoff tickets can be expensive and, according to prices listed online Tuesday, currently retail for at least $115.

NY1 spoke to one young fan, who was not old enough to get the shot herself but could still see the appeal of the offer:

“If they get free tickets, they won’t have to pay for it. So if they don’t have to pay for it, they’ll save up more money,” said Mackenzie Jordan, who was attending a Liberty game with her mother at Barclays Center on Tuesday.

Another difference with the Nets’ offer is that some people who are already vaccinated can still qualify for the raffle to attend a playoff game for free. The Nets are opening up the offer to those already vaccinated, but only if they live in one of 33 neighborhoods that city’s Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity previously found were disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Nets, and the whole NBA, to their great credit, are focused on social justice, are focused on attacking the disparities that we learned during the COVID crisis,” the mayor said.

The question, however, remains whether playoff tickets are enough to encourage unvaccinated people to get the COVID-19 shot. NY1 asked vaccinated and unvaccinated people whether they thought the tickets would bring people to the Nets vaccination site.

“It sounds like you may get the tickets or you may not get the tickets. So if it’s not, like, for sure, I wouldn't — because, I, personally, don’t want to be vaccinated,” said Margaret Jordon, who is unvaccinated.

“If I wasn’t vaccinated, 100,000% I would get vaccinated based on this, the offer,” said Brian Anderson, who has already been vaccinated.

According to the latest COVID-19 metrics released by the city on Tuesday, 7,628,062 doses of the vaccine have been administered since the city began its rollout.

The mayor also reported that the percentage of people citywide testing positive for COVID-19 was at a seven-day rolling average of 1.47% as of Tuesday.


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