Raiders owner Davis gambling vaccine mandate won’t alienate fans
LV Raiders’ owner Mark Davis (center) discusses vaccination mandate at news conference. (Photo: Dana Gentry)
Individuals who get their first or second vaccination dose but are not yet protected will be allowed to attend the game but must wear a mask, under Sisolak’s order issued Monday, which gives event operators the option of being exempted from the mask mandate in exchange for a vaccination mandate.
Davis said the decision is based on health and safety, but he acknowledges the risk of alienating fans.
“I’m very concerned about that,” he said.”Health and safety has always been number one since this pandemic with us and we’ve followed every edict that came out.”
“I think everything that happens in today’s world, it’s almost fifty-fifty when you get into these environments and these decisions, and we’re willing to make the tough decisions and we’re hoping not to lose any Raiders fans because they’re the most important thing to us,” Davis said.
Photos on social media of Saturday’s game at Allegiant Stadium revealed spotty compliance with Sisolak’s mask mandate.
“I’m a realist and I understand that it’s difficult in a venue of 20 to 65 thousand people to keep them masked up,” Sisolak said at a news conference in Las Vegas on Monday. “I was aware of the pictures that folks mentioned, that I saw,” he said, adding that he “talked to the operators at those venues and we exchanged ideas and opinions.”
“Right now what we’ve got is certainty for Raider fans that we’re going to have full capacity without masks in that stadium,” Davis said Tuesday. “For that certainty, I’m just very grateful to the governor for coming up with something that works for us.”
“If people are concerned about taking the shot, we’ll give them a full refund or they can roll it over to next season,” Davis said.
The mask mandate has already cost Allegiant Stadium two events, according to Davis, who says he’s unable to disclose them.
The team is “leading the charge with Health Pass and I know that fans will come along and support those efforts,” said Clear executive Jerome Pickett, who helped put the NBA bubble in place last year in Orlando. He says Health Pass has been used by hundreds of organizations across the country.
It’s unknown how Allegiant Stadium will enforce the mask requirement for the partially-vaccinated.
“It’s a good question,” Davis said.
The Raiders will not have a section for seating partially vaccinated patrons, since they’ve purchased seats dispersed throughout the stadium.
Davis suggested enforcement could come through surveillance of seats purchased by partially vaccinated fans.
The team’s owner said he’s yet to hear from owners in the NFL, but says others followed suit last year when the Raiders were the first to announce games would proceed without fans.
“It’s not just about you,” he said of the vaccination mandate. “It’s the person sitting next to you.”
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