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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he is willing to throw the doors to Highmark Stadium wide open and allow full capacity for Buffalo Bills games in the fall, but there’s one major stipulation.
Everyone purchasing a ticket has to be fully vaccinated and show proof of such if they plan to attend.
“We want all fans and staff to be fully vaccinated,” Polancarz said during a briefing. “Our plan is that unless you are vaccinated, you will not have entry to the stadium. It’s easy and safe.”
Fans will be allowed to use New York State’s Excelsior App to show proof that they have been vaccinated once they arrive at the county-owned facility in Orchard Park.
This also applies to Sabres games at KeyBank Center, not right now, but in the fall.
“I know people are like, ‘Wow, that’s pretty strict,’” Poloncarz said. “But we’re trying to protect not only the people in the stands, but the players on the field, concessionaires, our sheriff’s deputies, the security guards, and the best way to do it is to ensure that everyone’s vaccinated.”
The Bills put out a brief statement, saying, “As we did last year, we will continue to cooperate and comply with all New York state and local government regulations regarding our sporting events.”
Poloncarz said that half of eligible Erie County residents have already had one shot, and about 33% of eligible residents are now fully vaccinated. It’s clear that this announcement regarding Bills games is an impetus for more people to get the shots.
“I want to see this number increase,” Poloncarz said.
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Buffalo Bills games could be full capacity if fans get COVID vaccine