Just vaccinate, baby! On Monday evening, the Las Vegas Raiders became the first NFL team to announce that anyone wishing to enter Allegiant Stadium must show proof of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine before being admitted.
It’s a move that would enable the 65,000-seat stadium to allow as many fans as possible to attend games mask-free. The decision came just hours after Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a new emergency directive for large indoor events.
Under the directive, effective immediately, indoor arenas and theaters that have at least 4,000 fixed seats and hold ticketed events, such as concerts and sporting events, will be able to require attendees to show proof of their vaccination.
If an individual is fully vaccinated – defined as someone who received the last dose of a vaccine regimen more than two weeks ago – then they will be able to attend the Raiders game and not need a mask. Those not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask.
Individuals unable to receive a vaccine, such as children under the age of 12, would need to comply with the mask mandate.
Lastly, those who have not been vaccinated, will be given the option of receiving one at the stadium. Those who refuse will not be admitted entry.
In a statement, Raiders owner Mark Davis said the change was made after discussions with Sisolak and other leaders.
“Health and safety has always been our number one priority… this policy ensures that we will be able to operate at full capacity without masks for fully vaccinated fans for the entire season,” Davis said.
The Raiders policy takes effect on Sept. 13, when the Raiders host their first regular-season home game, facing the Baltimore Ravens.
Raiders to Unveil More Details Tuesday
The Raiders will work with CLEAR, an identity management technology company, and use its mobile app with the Health Pass feature to verify the vaccination status of fans. More details will be announced at a Tuesday press conference by the team at Allegiant Stadium.
During his press conference Monday afternoon, Sisolak said it was not the state mandating vaccines. Instead, it’s an alternative for venues in lieu of the mask mandate currently in effect in areas where the COVID-19 strain is spreading wildly.
It is an optional exception to the general mask requirement if the event operator chooses to require proof of vaccination for all attendees,” the governor said. “We’re giving our private sector partners, the choices and flexibility to lead in this area.”
After playing last season in an empty Allegiant Stadium because of the pandemic, Saturday’s preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks was the first game for fans to watch the game in person.
More than 50,000 came out to watch, and while Clark County is under a public mask mandate for large indoor gatherings, not everyone kept their mask on during the game.
Sisolak: Policy is Incentive for COVID-19 Vaccine
The governor said the hope is that with popular venues participating, it’ll serve as an incentive for the unvaccinated to get their shots.
“I believe in my heart that these businesses want to keep their employees and the general public as safe as possible,” he said. “Now, I understand that they want to make money. They’re in the business of making money, I get that. But they also might realize… that they can sell more tickets if people know that going there, everybody in that stadium is vaccinated and they can take their mask off.”
Based on Sisolak’s directive, several theaters and arenas along the Strip would have the option to require ticketholders to show proof of their vaccination before entering.
That includes several venues on MGM Resorts International property, including, T-Mobile Arena, Park Theater MGM, Mandalay Bay Events Center, and the MGM Grand Garden Arena. On Caesars Entertainment grounds, it would include the Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood and the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Earlier on Monday, MGM Resorts announced it would require its salaried staff and all new hires to be vaccinated. It, along with the Sisolak directive, is an effort to boost the number of vaccinated people in a region that’s served as a hot spot for the COVID-19 delta variant.
Those choosing to require vaccinations will need an accurate and reliable system to verify vaccination status as well as a way to identify individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
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