The message is clear to all local sports fans: If you want to attend a game this fall, vax up and mask up.
The Seattle Seahawks joined the UW Huskies, WSU Cougars and Sounders FC in announcing Tuesday morning that fans will be required to show proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or present a negative test within 72 hours of a home game.
All events at Climate Pledge Arena — including the first Kraken games in professional hockey’s much-anticipated return to Seattle — will require masks and proof of vaccination for entry.
According to state and local guidelines, everyone 5 and older will be required to wear masks at all outdoor events with crowds larger than 500 people.
The Seahawks will begin enforcing the mandates at the team’s home opener on Sept. 19 against the Tennessee Titans. The vaccination mandate applies to all attendees age 12 and over. A WSU news release said proof of vaccination will be required for fans 12 and up “beginning with home contests at Gesa Field in the month of October.”
“A big thanks for our sports teams for stepping up to protect their fans and the communities around them,” Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted Tuesday.
The Seahawks are one of three teams in the NFL that have announced some form of vaccine mandate, according to the Sports Business Journal.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has made his feelings clear on the vaccine. Carroll, quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver Tyler Lockett have all appeared in public-service spots urging people to get the shots.
Last year, the Seahawks were the only team in the NFL that didn’t have a single positive coronavirus test on the team. Carroll has continued that diligence this season — he urged his players to get vaccinated, and on Monday he said that all but two players on the roster have been vaccinated.
The Seahawks have specified that anyone attending a home game must be “fully” vaccinated — “defined as a minimum of two weeks following the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a minimum of two weeks following the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”
Children under 12 do not require a negative test for entry into Lumen Field. The masking requirement for those 5 and older also applies to stadium employees.
“In accordance with the current Washington state and King County mask mandates, until further notice all fans and staff will be required to wear masks at all times except while actively eating or drinking, regardless of vaccination status,” the team announced. “This includes both indoor and outdoor areas of the stadium.”
Fans who don’t comply with the mandates won’t have the option to return their tickets — refunds will not be available, the team announced.
The Huskies said they will launch their vaccination-verification system — for all UW events — beginning with the Sept. 25 football game against California at Husky Stadium.
UW’s announced attendance last weekend for its opener, which went on without a vaccination requirement, was 61,036, though there appeared to be significantly fewer in the seats. UW has six more home games this season.
For the Sept. 18 home game against Arkansas State, fans can visit a station at Husky Stadium to have their vaccine verification approved for the duration of the season.
UW will also host a pop-up vaccine site on Sept. 18 as an optional service.
Climate Pledge Arena, home of The Kraken, on Tuesday announced its policy for games and events. The arena will reopen in mid-October after a $1 billion overhaul that began more than two years ago.
For its final two home games, the Seattle Storm will provide separate seating sections for vaccinated and unvaccinated fans at Angel Of The Winds Arena in Everett. But the unvaccinated section will close when the WNBA playoffs begin Sept. 23 — and fans will be required to show proof of vaccine or of a negative test taken within the previous 72 hours.
The Mariners will require masks for everyone 12 and up starting with Friday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The team will implement a vaccine verification system in October if the Mariners make the postseason.
Seattle Times staff reporters Percy Allen, Geoff Baker and Mike Vorel contributed to this report.