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Edmonton Oilers demand COVID-19 vaccination or negative test from fans to enter Rogers Place

Last Updated Aug 24, 2021 at 11:48 am MDT

Home of the Edmonton Oilers, Rogers Place arena in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday July 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Fans who want to watch the Edmonton Oilers play in person at Rogers Place this season will need to be fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test result.

The new policy being implemented by Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) will apply to fans aged 12 and older.

Fans will need to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before the game, or a negative test taken within 48 hours of the game’s start time.

OEG says the policy will begin with the first pre-season game on Sept. 28 and until “the foreseeable future.”

The group is also requiring requires all employees, volunteers and contractors be fully vaccinated in order to work at Rogers Place.

“We believe these changes are not only vital to the safety of our fans and staff, but also critical in the fight against COVID-19 as we welcome fans back to our venue and do our part for the safe reopening of our city, province and country,” OEG said in a statement released Tuesday.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and provide more information on our venue COVID-19 policies in the coming weeks.”

 

It’s a similar policy to what the Winnipeg Jets recently implemented for all home games at Canada Life Centre this season. The Jets’ parent company, True North Sports and Entertainment, said season ticket holders had made it clear that was their preference.

And Calgary Sports and Entertainment announced Monday that all eligible people (aged 12 and up) planning to watch concerts, NHL, or WHL games at Saddledome will need to have both shots of the COVID-19 vaccine.

CityNews spoke to Oilers fans last week about the possibility of needing a proof of vaccination to see the Oilers play in person.

“I just see that as an invasion of privacy,” said one.

“I think protecting yourself and protecting others is the least that you can do,” said another.

Added a third: “(The Oilers) are operating a business and they have liability concerns so I’m sure they’re worried about that. I respect what they want and if they want me to stay away then I will.”

The Edmonton Oilers kick off their season Oct. 13 against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place.