Knicks Announce 1st 2 Playoff Games vs. Hawks at MSG Have Sold out at 15K Capacity

Blake SchusterContributor IMay 20, 2021

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 24: <> on April 24, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)
Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

Madison Square Garden will feature a sold-out crowd of 15,000 when the New York Knicks open up the 2021 NBA playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night.

x - NEW YORK KNICKS @nyknicks

You and 15,000 other loyal fans.<br> <br>Back together again.<br> <br>To show our team and our city — WE HERE. pic.twitter.com/lGfSOJr9W5

The team announced all tickets have been sold for Game 1 and 2, setting them up to be the largest indoor events in New York since the beginning of the pandemic. The 15,000 figure is also the highest allowed attendance among any NBA teams in the postseason, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

More from @NYTSports: Of 14 teams already in the playoffs, building capacities -- largely influenced by local guidelines -- range in Round 1 from Portland's 11 percent (2,000) to the Knicks' 81 percent.<br><br>Also: Crowd counts keep evolving as several teams push to increase capacity.

Tipoff for Game 1 is slated for 7 p.m. ET this Sunday. 

"We can’t thank our fans enough for stepping up, getting vaccinated, and being with us all the way,"  Knicks President Leon Rose said. "We look forward to the team giving all of New York something to cheer about.” 

The demand for tickets is far from surprising. 

New York was one of the league's most unexpected stories this season as a rebuild led by Rose and head coach Tom Thidobeau reached warp speed in 2020-21. The Knicks finished with a 41-31 record, clinched the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and appear ready to finally land a long-coveted elite free agent this offseason.

Most of that work was done this season without fans able to watch their team from the MSG seats. 

That won't be the case for the postseason—however long the Knicks remain in it. 

"With the addition of fully vaccinated sections, we can welcome even more Knicks fans into MSG for NBA playoff excitement," the team announced. "This is an important moment not only for us, but also our city. Knicks fans are going to be loud, they’re going to be passionate and they’re going to be ready…The Garden is going to rock!"

Sunday will mark the Knicks' first playoff appearance since 2013, when the club beat the Boston Celtics 4-2 in the first round before falling by the same series score in the conference semifinals to the Indiana Pacers. 

After finishing above .500 for the first time since that season, New York fans will have another opportunity to watch their team compete for a championship live at the Garden.