The new rules are expected to be in place when the Roughriders welcome the Toronto Argonauts to Mosaic Stadium on Sept. 17.
Roughriders’ management says the decision comes following concerns over the Delta variant from both the team and Saskatchewan’s public health experts.
“In consultations with local medical health officers this past week, they voiced their support to begin requiring proof of vaccination at Roughrider games,” said Craig Reynolds, Roughriders’ president and CEO.
“After speaking with our stakeholders, including the City of Regina, our stadium owner REAL, our stadium operator and the CFL, we decided that this is the right decision for our Club and for our fans.”
Fans under the age of 12 are exempt from these new requirements due to them not being eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
As for the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated needing to provide a negative test, it must be taken within 48 hours before the start of the game.
“We continue to strongly encourage all of our fans to get fully vaccinated for the safety of themselves and others and to wear masks to our games as an extra layer of protection,” Reynolds said.
The Roughriders are working on the logistics of how to accept proof of vaccination, working closely with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Regina Exhibition Associated Limited (REAL) and the province to make that happen.
“We have begun the process of planning and implementing a proof of vaccination or negative COVID test system to support the Riders and all of our tenants should they require it. We have been actively coordinating with other live entertainment venues across Canada and the United States,” REAL said in a statement Monday.
“We recognize that a system that supports the diverse and unique needs of our many tenants will be essential to the sustainability of our business.
“We are confident that the Government of Saskatchewan will soon be able to provide the necessary tools to support venues like ourselves, tenants like those at REAL, and our guests looking for an elevated level of comfort and assurance.”
Once a decision is made, the public will be notified.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he feels fortunate there have only been 11 cases of transmission at the three Roughrider games this season. Moving forward, Moe expects more organizations to follow suit with similar protocols.
“Credit to the Roughriders organization for the efforts that they have made and the crowd flow of people through the facility, availability of hand sanitizer and all that they have done to ensure a safe environment to this point,” Moe said.
“It’s my expectation that most leagues, most organizers of large events are going to be working with public health on how they can implement this type of a policy to ensure the safety and security of all those in attendance.”View link »