PORTLAND, Oregon — It took Portland Thorns fans just a little longer to get into Providence Park, Wednesday night.
Besides their tickets, attendees 12 and older were required to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours. It’s part of new mandates implemented for the Timbers and Thorns in response to rising case numbers and the delta variant. Fans are now also required to wear masks.
“I don't mind being safe,” said Thorns fan Kristin Burney. “I don't mind showing that I've been vaccinated.”
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“It's for the good of the community,” added Thorns fan Nick Saldivia. “I think being safe, showing proof is good.”
The Portland Trail Blazers and the Rose Quarter on Wednesday announced similar mandates. Beginning Sept. 4, fans 12 and older will also need to show proof of vaccination. That applies to all events at the Rose Quarter including basketball and hockey games and concerts. Those who aren't vaccinated can show a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the event.
“So far the majority of the feedback we've gotten has been overwhelmingly positive, which is nice to hear and affirms our decision,” said Amanda Mann, senior vice president and general manager of Rose Quarter Operations.
Mann said safety is the top reason for the mandate, while it also helps prevent future shutdowns. She believes everyone who wants to, should still be able to get in.
"We are not accepting medical or religious exemptions because those people will have the opportunity to provide a negative test," said Mann.
Those who prefer to show a negative test result are advised to plan ahead. As more businesses and venues require them, demand for COVID tests is growing. KGW called several pharmacies including Walgreens and Rite Aid. In some areas, COVID test appointments were booked five days in advance, with a warning that it could several days for get results. That could make meeting 48 or 72-hour windows especially challenging.
Back at Providence Park, most everyone in attendance was happy to have proof of vaccination to show — not just for ease of entry, but for knowing they did their part.
“I want to do what I can to help keep other people safe,” said Thorns fan Becca Burney. “So if that means wearing a mask and showing my vaccination then I'm 100% ok with it.”