LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The Las Vegas Raiders will require all attendees at home games to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination through CLEAR’s free mobile app and Health Pass feature, allowing fans to attend games without wearing a mask.
The policy will take effect for the first regular-season home game, Sept. 13, against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football.
The Raiders are the first team in the National Football League to announce a vaccine/no mask policy, according to the league. Though, the New Orleans Saints announced last week that their home fans will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken at least 72 hours before their games.
The Raiders implemented the change in accordance with a new emergency directive from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak regarding large events.
“Health and safety has always been our number one priority,” said Raiders owner Mark Davis. “After consultation with Governor Sisolak and other community leaders, this policy ensures that we will be able to operate at full capacity without masks for fully vaccinated fans for the entire season,” Davis explained.
"I think it's a step in the right direction," said John Vizcarra, a Raiders season ticket holder. "Anything that we can do to make sure that fans are safe."
For many die-hard football fans, the crowd is as big a player as anyone on the field.
"If I have to show my vaccine card, if I'm not vaccinated, if I have to get a shot there at the stadium -- whatever I've got to do to get in there and see that game, I'm willing to do it," he said.
And it is not just the Raiders that could be requiring fans to get their shots. Other venues around the valley now have the power to make the same decision after the governor's announcement.
KTNV stopped by the Thomas and Mack Center where the NBA Summer League is underway to hear what those fans would think about a vaccination requirement.
"I don't know if it should be required," said Matt Johnson, who lives in Las Vegas. "I think it's everybody's personal choice. Freedom of choice -- if they want to do it, great. If not, I don't think it should be required."
"I mean, everyone's entitled to their own choice, but I'm personally pro-vaccination because I want the world to go back to normal," said Alina Filipp, another fan in attendance at the Summer League.
Fans at Allegiant Stadium will have to use a mobile app on their phones to prove they're vaccinated ensuring the stadium operates at full capacity.
"Some people might say, 'Well, it's just a football game,'" said Vizcarra. "But for some of us, this is life. This is what we live for."
And in a matter of hours, Las Vegas went from COVID-19 hotspot to trendsetter.
"It's good for Vegas," said Vizcarra. "Bottom line."
This change goes into effect for the first game of the regular season on Sept. 13 against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Raiders will offer the opportunity for fans to receive vaccinations on-site at Allegiant Stadium prior to Raiders home games, permitting newly vaccinated fans to enter wearing a mask.
The Raiders announced a policy requiring all full-time employees on the business and football staff of the organization to be vaccinated in May. Stadium management company ASM and stadium concessionaire Levy also have implemented mandatory vaccinations for all full-time staff at Allegiant Stadium.
The Raiders will hold a press conference at 12 p.m. Aug. 17 at Allegiant Stadium to announce details of the program and introduce CLEAR representatives who will discuss the verification process.
Raiders' season ticket holders will receive an email with additional information and instructions.
This story was originally published by John Domol and other staff at KTNV.