Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has mandated that to enjoy either a Buffalo Bill or Sabre game in person you must be vaccinated. The response has been quite vocal with some agreeing with the decision while others liking it to Orwell’s “1984” or outright fascism.
Ironically, while fans must adhere to this strict policy others including NFL players, other contractors and employees are exempt. This is in part due to union contracts.
Pegula Sports and Entertainment Executive Vice President Ron Raccuia fully supports this decision stating that anyone planning to attend Buffalo Bills home games at must be fully vaccinated by the end of October. The rules apply to those ages 12 and older. Anyone younger must wear a mask inside the stadium.
Bills fans must have at least a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to attend the team’s next home game on Sept. 26. For Sabres fans these rules apply beginning Sept. 25 for those for those going to the Eric Church concert.
“There will be no test-out option offered. Every individual guest must be vaccinated with at least one dose, starting with the Washington Football Team game” on Sept. 26,” ,” Poloncarz said.
No exceptions to the vaccination requirement will be granted for medical conditions or religious reasons, Poloncarz said.
To this some fans have noted that this is in violation of the first amendment which clearly states that one has the right to practice their own religion – with or without testing.
“This new policy has been discussed and planned with Pegula Sports & Entertainment for weeks, he said. It just wasn’t implemented for the first game because there wasn’t enough time to logistically execute the plan. Enforcement of the new mandate will now be done at the point of entry,” Poloncarz added.
Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination are a physical vaccination card, Excelsior Pass, CLEAR digital vaccination card or, for those attending from out of state, another government-issued digital proof of vaccination. To guard against vaccination card forgeries, Erie County Health
Pro-rated refunds will be offered to season ticket holders who do not want to attend games as a result of the new vaccination requirement. Refund requests must be made by 8 p.m. Friday. Single-game tickets will not be refunded. The Bills recommend those tickets be transferred, sold or donated.