Raiders require a COVID-19 vaccine at all home games; will BYU-Arizona be next?
Lights adorn Allegiant Stadium, the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders soccer team, which is nearing completion in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. The stadium will also serve as the home of the UNLV soccer team. (John Locher, Associated Press)
PROVO – The Las Vegas Raiders were the first team in the NFL to open their home stadium with unmasked fans for the regular season at full capacity, the team announced on Monday evening.
To do this, the Raiders require all guests attending games at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas to provide evidence of a COVID-19 vaccination via a mobile app from CLEAR, which allows fans to attend games without a mask.
The policy comes after Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued an emergency policy Monday on major events are vaccinated. “
“Health and safety have always been a top priority,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said in a statement. “After consulting with Governor Sisolak and other community leaders, this policy ensures that we can operate at full capacity for the entire season without masks for fully vaccinated fans.”
The policy will officially go into effect before the team’s home kick-off on September 13 against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. Unvaccinated fans also have the option to get vaccinated on-site on game day so they can attend the game wearing a mask, the Raiders added.
The New Orleans Saints previously announced a similar policy requiring fans to provide proof of vaccination for all home games or a negative PCR test within 72 hours of kick-off.
Further details on the Raiders’ policy will be announced at a press conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
The stadium is also home to UNLV football, which opens the 2021 season against east Washington on Thursday, September 2.
Playing their only preseason home game on Saturday, the Raiders opened the Allegiant Stadium to a full capacity of masked fans, including a number of stars including musician Carlos Santana, members of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces and artist Marie Osmond, the also lives in Provo.
The team will play the Rams at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday preseason week 2, followed by a trip to Levi’s Stadium for the San Francisco 49ers on August 29th. The first game of the season will be his regular game. Season opener at home against the Ravens.
BYU trainer Kalani Sitake on the field during training in Provo on Thursday, August 5, 2021. (Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)
However, between the final preseason game and the first of the regular season, Allegiant Stadium will host BYU’s opening college football game against Arizona. The Cougars and Wildcats are scheduled to begin in Las Vegas on September 4th at 8:30 p.m. MT.
While the decision is independent of the NFL and southern Nevada health officials, the Raiders’ statement implies that it was made in consultation with local health officials, which are seeing an increase in cases in southern Nevada.
Would the arrangement then be extended to other events at the Allegiant Stadium, including the BYU kick-off? That is probably one of the many questions that will be asked during Tuesday’s press conference.
BYU coaches and officials have been reluctant to publicly disclose the team’s vaccination numbers, despite anecdotal information from several individual players to KSL.com that “most of the team” had been vaccinated. The university requires all students and teachers to report their vaccination status themselves before the start of the fall semester
The NFL has left COVID-19 vaccination guidelines to its individual teams, but has strongly encouraged vaccination among players, coaches, staff and staff. The league announced Monday that Atlanta became the first team to achieve 100% vaccination after training camp opened with more than 90% vaccination.
With a 100% vaccination, the hawks are allowed to eat without masks in team facilities and train together.