Anyone hoping to attend a New Orleans Saints or Tulane University football game will need to wear a mask and bring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
According to The Associated Press, Tulane is the first major college football team that has announced it will require proof of vaccination or a negative test at home sporting events. The Green Wave are scheduled to open the season by hosting Oklahoma on Sept. 4 at the 30,000-seat Yulman Stadium.
The regulations were announced after the State of Louisiana and City of New Orleans enacted new rules for masking at entertainment venues and indoor facilities.
“Today's announcement by New Orleans mayor Latoya Cantrell that all guests at major indoor and outdoor events — including all Tulane athletic events — will be required to wear a mask and show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result from no more than 72 hours prior to the event should not be unexpected,” Tulane athletics’ press release reads. “The increase in COVID cases due to the Delta variant and the low rate of vaccinations in our state has made our community vulnerable to significant health and safety concerns. It is our hope that the mayor's directive will encourage the unvaccinated to receive a vaccination for their own benefit and for the benefit of all of us. It also serves as a strong reminder that in a pandemic there are expectations for all who want to participate in activities in which they share an environment with others.”
The AP reported that Tulane is also requiring students to be vaccinated or receive a waiver in order to attend fall classes. Tulane’s release noted that more than 95 percent of the university’s students and more than 92 percent of faculty and staff members have been vaccinated.
“There are still many details regarding the implementation of the directive that we are currently working through, including developing logistical plans to effectively and efficiently ensure compliance with the directive,” the university’s release reads. “Tulane University will share those details in the coming days. We are grateful to our passionate and loyal fans who cheer on the Green Wave at every opportunity. We will work hard to ensure that the process for gaining entry to Tulane games is as simple and seamless as possible. To further ensure a smooth gameday experience and to protect our collective health, we encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
It’ll be a similar situation at the Superdome, which hosts the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. The 73,000-seat Superdome will be allowed to operate at full capacity, but with COVID-19 protocols in place. According to the Saints’ press release, all ticketholders at least 12 years old will “need to verify that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have received a negative COVID-19 PCR test within the last 72 hours.” The release specifies that proof must be shown prior to entry, and that full vaccination entails two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Furthermore, the Saints are requiring all fans and staff members to wear face coverings, other than when eating or drinking.
“The City of New Orleans has implemented new rules and regulations for sports and entertainment venues, indoor facilities and large social gatherings,” the release reads. “These rules allow for full capacity on game day. We must comply with those regulations to safely return to full capacity for the first time in more than a year and a half."