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Report: Knicks plan to allow 15,000 fans at MSG for first playoff game vs. Hawks

Madison Square Garden will have a fan presence as the Knicks return to the postseason vs. the Hawks.

Boston Celtics v New York Knicks
Derrick Rose hi-fives Julius Randle of the New York Knicks during the game against the Boston Celtics on May 16, 2021 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

5/26 Update: The Garden is LOUD. The Knicks went on a run in the third quarter and are looking like they’ll end up taking Game 2 from the Hawks to even the series. MSG got particularly bumpin’ after this Alley-oop from rookie Obi Toppin.

5/20 Update: The Knicks will have the largest playoff crowd at 15,000 fans, according to Marc Stein. New York will be one of six teams to have 10,000 or more fans in attendance for home playoff games.

New York Knicks fans have waited a long time to see postseason basketball at Madison Square Garden. For a lucky 15,000, that wait will end soon.

The Knicks plan to have that many fans in attendance for the first playoff game against the Atlanta Hawks, according to Marc Stein. The number represents about 62.5 percent of Madison Square Garden’s total capacity of 20,789. New York was previously allowing around 2,000 fans to attend games.

The Knicks aren’t the only team likely to increase capacity limits as the playoffs begin. The Bucks and Jazz are reportedly bumping fan attendance up to 9,000 and 13,000, then 15,000 respectively for the start of the postseason. The Hawks will have 45 percent capacity when the Knicks travel to Atlanta in this series. The top-seeded 76ers are expanding stadium capacity to 50 percent attendance for the playoffs. The Nets will likely be able to bump up their capacity as well given the Knicks’ move.

It’s hard to envision attendance having an impact on the line in this series. The Knicks are currently very slight favorites at -114 and the matchup is largely expected to go six or seven games.