Starting on May 19th, Citi Field and Yankee Stadium will both be able to increase their capacity by splitting the seating in two: the fully-vaccinated seats and the unvaccinated seats.
But anyone who had concerns about this divide leading to a two-tier society can (sort of) rest assured, because the Yankees and Mets are both planning to stick the exclusively vaccinated crowd in the crummiest seats in the house. (Fans who are fully vaccinated can still, of course, buy tickets in any of the unvaccinated sections. And sitting outside while fully vaccinated presents an extremely low risk of COVID-19 transmission, even if an unvaccinated person is eating Cracker Jacks six feet away.)
Per source, the vaccinated sections of Citi Field are all of the worst seats in the stadium. pic.twitter.com/aVTb9ToAVO
— Mark (@TooGooden17) May 11, 2021
As Gothamist reported last week, unvaccinated fans will be able to sit in 100% capacity sections, while unvaccinated fans will remain in 33% capacity sections, with six-foot social distancing rules in effect. Fans in either section will be required to wear face masks when they’re not actively eating or drinking.
In announcing the change, Governor Andrew Cuomo reassured fans that unvaccinated people won’t be punished with bad seats: “It’s not like you get the nosebleed seat because you’re unvaccinated and the vaccinated people get the better seats,” he said. “It doesn’t work that way.”
Instead, it appears to sort of work the opposite way. As in, fans who got vaccinated — perhaps at Citi Field — with the hopes of being able to sit among other fully vaccinated people and take in a Mets game can only do so in the nosebleeds.
Yankee Stadium appears to have a slightly better mix:
Why are Yankee Stadium and Citi Field mainly allowing all the vaccinated fans to gather at the top of the rafters, like a school group or a pack of YMCA campers?
Gothamist reached out to both organizations, and has yet to get an answer.
The Yankees will play their first home game with the new seating arrangement on Friday, May 21st. The vaccine-only seats at Citi Field will debut on Monday, May 24th.