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Leagues and Governing Bodies

As more NFL teams require COVID checks, questions abound over functionality

Seahawks will require fans show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to kickoff to enter Lumen FieldGETTY IMAGES

The Seahawks became the third NFL team to "require proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test inside the 72 hours prior to kickoff in order to enter a stadium on gameday," though Lumen Field is the NFL's "first open-air stadium to implement the protocols," according to Charles Robinson of YAHOO SPORTS. The Seahawks' move, announced yesterday, follows the domed venues of the Saints and Raiders. Robinson noted, "If you’re going low-tech, you’ll be bringing your documentation to the gate for on-site verification -- literally. If you’re going high-tech, you’re going to be uploading proof in an online portal. And both avenues will be monitored for forgeries." Robinson: "What’s to keep fans from using fakes to gain entry? ... Nobody knows yet, because this is a new process for teams." There is no national database that "keeps track of who is vaccinated and who isn’t, and the swath of COVID testing sites is so varied that it’s going to make it difficult to know for certain which test results are real and which are forged." One source said that the "onus is largely going to be on the security employees at the stadium gates." But unlike tickets that come with scannable bar codes that "drastically reduce fraud in the system," the vaccination and testing documentation is "going to be a matter of passing the eyeball test." That is "likely to slow down the entry process on gameday," although nobody is "certain what it will look like given that this is all new territory" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/7).

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