Barclays Center may become mass COVID-19 vaccine site, de Blasio says


New York City is hoping to open up a COVID-19 mass vaccination site at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The potential site at the home of the Nets is “one we want to partner with the state of New York on and make a central site for the people of Brooklyn,” de Blasio said during a City Hall press briefing.

De Blasio noted that on Tuesday he had a “great conversation” with John Abbamondi, the CEO of BSE Global, which owns the Nets and Barclays Center.

“They’re raring to go,” he said. “They want to make Barclays Center a great site for Brooklyn.”

Hizzoner added, “This should be a Brooklyn-only site. This should be a site that really helps us reach deep into the communities of Brooklyn, including places where we’re seeing a lot of vaccine hesitancy.”

The city will work with the state along with Barclays Center and the Nets “to figure out how we can move forward,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio’s announcement, however, came shortly after Gov. Cuomo announced that Barclays would welcome back fans at 10 percent capacity for a Nets game. It wasn’t immediately clear if the site can operate simultaneously as a sports venue and a vaccine site.

Meanwhile, de Blasio announced that the city will “soon” open a long-promised immunization hub at the Empire Outlets retail complex on Staten Island.

“That site will be opening soon. It will be devoted to the people of Staten Island,” de Blasio said.

The mayor said the goal would be to get those mass vaccination sites to operate 24/7.

On Wednesday, a mega-inoculation facility opened at Citi Field in Queens and on Friday a mass vaccination site opened at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

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