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Kraken exec: Vaccine policy at arena is best way to keep fans safe

The Kraken’s decision yesterday to allow only fully vaccinated fans (ages 12 and over) into games at Climate Pledge Arena comes after the team’s higher-ups "let it be known they were mulling a full-on vaccination policy" and in years past "haven’t hesitated in being out front on other social and public issues," according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. Oak View Group Senior VP Don Graham said, "All of our leadership got together, and we thought that this was the best thing for our fans. The last thing we wanted to do is revert back to (COVID-19) setbacks and limited capacity." Baker notes the new rules "apply to NHL games, concerts and all other arena events," where all patrons for now also "must wear a mask inside." Vaccines also will be "required to attend the team’s training camp at the Community Iceplex at Northgate Mall," as well as "three home preseason games in Spokane, Kent and Everett." Graham said, “It was more just our customers asking us. A lot of the correspondence and emails I saw is they would be more comfortable if we had a vaccine requirement of everybody.” The Kraken said that they made the announcement now to "give fans time to get fully vaccinated by the Oct. 23 home opener" against the Canucks. Graham said that the team "will allow some unvaccinated fans into games with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours beforehand," but only if "approved in advance for exemptions on legitimate medical or religious grounds" (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/8).

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