A return to the playoffs is a testament to how far the Brooklyn Nets have come since its move to the borough in 2012. Now, it will also serve as a testament to how far New York City has come in its own battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the Nets announced a new partnership with the mayor’s office and mobile medical service provider DocGo to bring a vaccination site to a location across the street from Barclays Center.
The site will offer free vaccines to qualified individuals ages 12 and older the day before and the day of any Nets home playoff games.The program will last as long as the Nets are in the postseason, and everyone vaccinated at the site will be automatically entered into a lottery for free tickets to a home playoff game.
“Providing Nets fans and our community with quick and convenient access to vaccines is crucial in continuing to open both our arena and local businesses safely,” said Mandy Gutmann, senior vice president of Communications and Community Relations at BSE Global, the company that operates Barclays Center. “We appreciate the mayor’s office and DocGo for making this important initiative possible.
“Additionally, after the incredibly challenging year that many have experienced, we are looking forward to teaming up with the Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity to distribute Nets playoff tickets to fully vaccinated individuals,” she added. “It is our hope that this effort will not only build excitement around the NBA Playoffs, but promote the benefits of becoming vaccinated.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke about the program during a recent press conference, comically donned a Nets jersey under a blue dress shirt.
“This is going to be another extraordinary effort to get people vaccinated and keep everyone safe,” said de Blasio. “Go there, get vaccinated and enter the lottery.”
The new vaccine site is specifically designed for residents from the 33 neighborhoods that have been identified by the City’s Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity as the hardest hit by the pandemic.
These include Bed-Stuy, Bushwick, East New York, Sunset Park, Coney Island, Flatbush, Midwood, Brownsville, and Canarsie. Residents from these neighborhoods who have already been vaccinated may still enter the lottery by visiting the vaccine site.
Walk-up appointments will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Appointments can also be made in advance by visiting vaccinefinder.nyc.gov and selecting “Barclays Center: Modell’s” as the site.