SEATTLE - Fans attending most pro sporting events in Seattle will soon be required to show proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they’ve tested negative for the virus.
The NFL’s Seahawks, MLS’s Sounders, NHL’s Kraken, MLB’s Mariners, the University of Washington and Washington State University all announced updated policies Tuesday for fans attending games this season.
The Sounders, who also play at Lumen Field, will also require COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test. The Sounders will begin with their Oct. 3 match against Colorado.
While the other Seattle teams are permitting a negative test to gain entry, the Kraken will only allow vaccinated fans at games. The requirements will remain in place for other events at Climate Pledge Arena, including concerts.
Later on Tuesday, the University of Washington also announced a vaccine verification system for Husky Athletics ticketed events starting with the Sept. 25 football game against California.
Washington State University joined the other local organizations and will require proof of vaccination or a negative test starting with home games at Gesa Field in October.
The Seattle Mariners said T-Mobile Park would begin requiring proof of vaccination beginning with potential postseason games in early October. But effective Sept. 7, all guests would be required to wear masks in accordance with county guidance.
"The evidence is clear -- vaccination is safe and effective in preventing serious illness from COVID-19. We are making this announcement now to give our Season Ticket Members and other fans the opportunity to get vaccinated before the requirement takes effect," said Trevor Gooby, Seattle Mariners Sr. Vice President, Ballpark Operations.
The team also said all front office, event staff and Mariners employees at team operated facilities in the U.S. were told in late August they must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 4 as a condition of employment.
Seahawks vaccine requirement
The Seahawks will begin enforcing the vaccine requirement with the home opener vs. Tennessee on Sept. 19.
Fans will also be required to wear masks per King County's mandate for large outdoor gatherings and Gov. Inslee's statewide indoor mandate.
"The health and safety of our guests, players and staff is always our top priority and we remain committed to doing what we can to keep our community safe," said Chuck Arnold, President, Seattle Seahawks and First & Goal Inc. "These measures will allow us to continue with plans to host a full stadium of fans, while still providing a safe and fun experience for our guests. We urge everyone who is eligible to please get vaccinated."
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AUGUST 21: An NFL preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Lumen Field on August 21, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. The Denver Broncos beat the Seattle Seahawks 30-3. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Here is more information from the Seahawks:
To verify COVID-19 vaccination, guests age 12 and older will be required to display one of the following before entry into the stadium:
- An official CDC-issued (or foreign country equivalent) vaccination card with your name and dates of doses, including the date the last dose was administered printed on the card.
- A photo or digital version of an official CDC-issued (or foreign country equivalent) vaccination card with your name and dates of doses, including the date the last dose was administered printed on the card.
- Fans can also upload their proof of vaccination to CLEAR Health Pass in the CLEAR app for verification. Visit clearme.com/healthpass for instructions.
For unvaccinated guests age 12 and older, including those with approved medical or religious exemptions, the following will be accepted as proof of negative COVID-19 test:
- A printed COVID-19 negative test taken within 72 hours prior to kickoff that includes your name, the date of the test and the lab location where the test was taken.
- A digital version or photo of the negative test result will also be accepted.
- Acceptable tests include PCR and rapid tests. At-home, self-administered tests will not be accepted.
- Guests under the age of 12 will not be required to provide a negative test result.
The two most populous counties in Washington state have begun outdoor mask mandates due to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
The directives began Tuesday in King and Pierce Counties, regardless of vaccination status, for people age 5 and older. The outdoor mask mandate means anyone at large events with 500 or more people must wear a mask.
Last month Gov. Jay Inslee announced a statewide mask mandate for indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.