The Portland Trail Blazers were the last team in the NBA to allow fans since the coronavirus pandemic shuttered the league last March.
But that changed two weeks ago when the team announced that ahead of the Blazers’ matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers, attendance would be increased to 10% of the arena’s full capacity.
In a press release Monday, the Blazers announced they will be able to welcome more fans to the Moda Center come playoff time. As later announced by President & CEO of the Portland Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter Chris McGowan, the plan is to welcome back 8,000 fans to Moda Center during the Blazers postseason run.
Monday's press released centered around the addition of vaccinated sections.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Governor and Oregon Health Authority as the first indoor sports venue in Oregon with Vaccinated Sections,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO, Portland Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter in a release. “Rip City has shown us such tremendous support throughout the season, and I am confident their in-arena energy will fuel the team as we fight to bring the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy to Portland.”
A number of teams have opened up vaccinated sections across all major professional sports, many of them being for outdoor sporting events.
Staples Center has also sold tickets for vaccinated sections, which are closer to the court.
Vaccinated Sections will be available to fully vaccinated fans ages 16+ whom at least two weeks have passed since they received their second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). For the May 27 game, the last date is on or before May 13. For the May 29 game, the last date is on or before May 15. Fans will be required to provide proof of full vaccination with a CDC-issued vaccination card or digital/printed photo of their vaccination card. Non-vaccinated children up to age 15 can sit in Vaccinated Sections with their parent or guardian. Physically distanced sections will also be available for those who are not eligible for the Vaccinated Sections.
As before, fans will be required to wear masks inside the arena unless actively eating or drinking, and groups of fans will be seated at least 6 feet apart. Fans must also complete a health screening on the Trail Blazers mobile app before attending a game.
CJ McCollum got his wish, now Rip City has to do its part in getting loud as the first-round series gets underway.
Games 2 is slated for Monday before the Blazers play in front of the home crowd for Games 3 and 4 on Thursday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 29 at 1:00 p.m. You can check out the full schedule here. The first four games will air on NBC Sports Northwest, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers.