Rimless basketball hoops at Riverside Park and 74th Street on Friday, March 27. Photo © Dana Schulz for 6sqft.
In the recent weeks, Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have taken different approaches when it comes to social distancing measures in public spaces, but one thing they’ve agreed on is that basketball games need to stop. In his press conference on Wednesday, the Mayor spoke about the specific problem related to basketball courts and announced that he’d received reports from the Parks Department and the NYPD that 80 courts around the city, out of a total of 1,700, were an ongoing issue. He went on to say that the basketball hoops at these locations would be removed, which they were yesterday.
As the Mayor, a big basketball fan himself, explained, shooting hoops with one or two people with whom you live under the same roof is fine, but any other type of game is not okay. At the 80 locations where the hoops were removed, he said, “The courts will still be there for folks who want to do any other kind of recreation and we’ll be enforcing that. But there will not be any basketball games because there will not be any basketball hoops.” He continued, “there’s about 1,700 locations total so that means about 1,600 more courts that we can leave intact if people follow the rules. People don’t follow the rules, we’ll take the hoops down there. And if we have to end up closing off basketball courts across the board, we’ll do it, if we have to.”
The move comes after Governor Cuomo visited NYC last Saturday and saw the lack of social distancing in parks and public spaces. He then gave the Mayor and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson 24 hours to come up with a plan to solve the issue, which resulted in a pilot program that will open one six-block stretch of road to pedestrians in each borough.
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