Las Vegas becomes first NFL team to do so
The Raiders have long cultivated an image as the bad boys of the NFL. Through their iterations in Oakland then Los Angeles, back to Oakland, and now in Las Vegas they’ve routinely rank among the most penalized teams in the league. The “Black Hole” superfan section in Oakland was the stuff of nightmares.
So it might come as a surprise that the Raiders are the first NFL team to announce that fans attending their home games at Allegiant Stadium must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The move follows an emergency directive from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak laying out a plan for large indoor venues to allow spectators without masks provided they show proof of vaccination.
“Health and safety has always been our No. 1 priority,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said. “After consultation with Gov. Sisolak and other community leaders, this policy ensures that we will be able to operate at full capacity without masks for fully vaccinated fans for the entire season.”
The Raiders hosted a preseason game over the weekend without the requirement, which will take effect Sept. 13 for the team’s regular season home opener. Fans entering the stadium will use CLEAR’s free mobile app and Health Pass feature to verify their vaccination status.
David told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that season ticket holders who do not plan to get vaccinated can get refunds or apply the money to a future season. The Raiders will evaluate the requirements for 2022 after the season.
Sisolak indicated the directive came from the realization that the Raiders enforcing a mask policy for a stadium full of thousands of fans was an unrealistic request to make of them.
“I’m a realist and can understand that it’s difficult in a venue of 20 or 65,000 people to keep people masked up,” he said.