Return of Live Events:
Though the COVID-19 pandemic continues to run rampant through the country and take a toll on the health care system, vaccines and the latest knowledge about the virus have made it possible for fans to once again enjoy things like concerts, sporting events and plays in person.
For Seattle and the rest of western Washington, sports, culture and the arts are among the most important anchors for the community.
However, with the rise of the delta variant, the state and other officials have issued mandates for public places and gatherings that venues must adopt or face fines and possibly be forced to shut down.
On Aug. 23, the state’s indoor mask mandate went back into effect, requiring everyone to wear a mask inside public spaces regardless of vaccination status.
In addition to the state’s indoor mask mandate, Pierce and King counties have a universal mask mandate for large outdoor events of 500 or more people, effective Sept. 7.
Even before the state’s full reopening on June 30, the Washington Department of Health (DOH) issued guidance for venues to screen for the virus, improve airflow and filtration and safely clean and disinfect public spaces.
Yet, some event organizers have even gone beyond guidance and mandates and begun limiting the capacity of certain events while at the same time implementing vaccination and testing requirements for guests and staff to ensure everyone’s safety.
For those looking to attend any event, it is recommended that you check the event website or contact the event to get a list of its health and safety policies.
Anyone feeling sick, especially those with COVID-19 symptoms, should avoid going out into the public, isolate themselves and seek a COVID-19 test.
Even if the event does not require vaccination, everyone eligible and able to get vaccinated is urged to do so, especially before attending a large event.
According to the latest data out of King County, unvaccinated people are seven times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated.
Additional information, including details on how to get vaccinated and tested for COVID-19, is available on the DOH website.
Venue COVID-19 Policies:
The home of the Seattle Mariners has been at full capacity since July 2, adopting numerous safety measures like vaccination zones throughout the last year.
Due to the latest King County COVID-19 mandate, masks are required for fans and employees inside indoor spaces like elevators, bathrooms or restaurants as well as outside regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
Additionally, beginning with potential postseason games, the Mariners will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry at T-Mobile Park. The team is already requiring employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 4.
The park has made hand sanitization stations available at more than 300 locations across the ballpark.
There are also no cash transactions for concessions and merchandise. The ballpark has placed eight free-to-use “ReadySTATION” kiosks around the property to convert cash into Mastercard prepaid debit cards.
Lumen Field, T-Mobile Park’s neighbor and home of the Seahawks and Sounders, is following state and King County mandates by requiring masks indoors and outdoors when not actively drinking or eating regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. This applies to all guests and employees.
The Seahawks and Sounders FC also announced they are requiring proof of vaccination for all eligible guests or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of each game.
The vaccination or testing requirement does not apply to those under 12 years old.
More than 300 hand sanitizer stations have been added around the venue, and the stadium has increased its HVAC operations with upgraded filters to improve ventilation and capture a greater amount of particulates in the air.
Lumen Field has also gone completely cashless, so fans should be prepared to use their debit and credit cards as well as tap-to-pay options.
Though the new state-of-the-art facility hasn’t opened yet, the stage is set for the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and a host of other live events and concerts. As the pandemic continues to evolve, Climate Pledge Arena announced strategies its working to implement to mitigate the spread of the virus.
In its latest effort, the arena announced it would be requiring proof of vaccination for all events at the venue, including Seattle Kraken games.
The arena is also seeking Sharecare Facility Accreditation, which it says is based on integrating clinically validated public health guidance alongside facility best practices.
Some specific measures include touchless payment options as well as HVAC systems designed to meet the latest safety standards.
Each specific event at Climate Pledge Arena could have its own additional requirements in addition to the state and county mandates.
Guests should check event info on the arena’s website for particular rules.
Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium, home of the minor league baseball team the Rainiers, is open at 100% capacity, but the venue has made changes to certain policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as state and regional health orders.
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks at the ballpark whether indoors or outdoors. Additionally, the venue continues to host vaccination clinics at every Rainiers home game.
All purchases in the stadium are cashless including those at the team store and concessions.
Fans looking for little mementos from their favorite players will have to wait as players and coaches are not permitted to sign autographs or have any physical contact with fans. The stadium is even asking fans to not ask for signatures or pictures with players or coaches inside or outside of the stadium.
The Tacoma Dome is expected to welcome guests back to the iconic venue in September with a whole schedule of events and concerts slated for the fall, but not without numerous COVID-19 policies being implemented.
Due to the statewide mask mandate, face coverings are required for all guests, regardless of vaccination status inside the stadium.
The Dome remains cashless for all purchases with cash-to-card kiosks available that can revert cash to Tacoma Dome VISA cards. Balances on the cards can be used anywhere.
A clear bag rule is in place at the Dome in order to reduce contact with security. Small clutch purses 4.5”x6.5” or small are allowed, but anything larger must be clear. Bags can be purchased at the venue and lockers are available outside.
As for sanitation practices, the Dome says it has been accredited by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, “the venue industry’s premier outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities.” This includes HVAC upgrades, UV-C cleaning system in select areas and electrostatic sprayers, which use a fine mist of positively charged disinfectant particles that adhere to surfaces, between events.
Hosting the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, a COVID-19 vaccination site and a number of other events, Angel of the Winds Arena is actually a three-venue complex in downtown Everett. Due to the state and county mandates, everyone 5 years old and up attending events or enjoying the community ice rink must wear a mask while inside, regardless of vaccination status.
Those looking to catch a Storm game should be prepared to also provide contact information on site.
The arena has gone completely cashless to limit contact between patrons and employees. Payment options include debit cards, credit cards and mobile tools like Google Pay and Apple Pay.
For the last two home games on Sept. 7 and Sept. 17, there is a fully vaccinated section at Storm games, but masks are still required at all times when not eating or drinking. To sit in this section, fans must provide full proof of vaccination to an onsite attendant. If proof is not presented, entry to the section will be rejected and there will be no refund.
For the post-season, the Storm will require all fans to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide a negative test take within 72 hours before game time. The arena will do away with different sections for vaccination status and return to full capacity.
Those attending an event at the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center will also be required to wear a mask. Additionally, physical distancing protocols will be in place and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the venue.
Food services at the conference center will consist of individual pre-packaged items instead of self-serve buffets.
The cultural hub that is Seattle Center, grounds of the world-famous Space Needle, has implemented various COVID-19 protocols in addition to adopting the state’s and King County’s mandates for required mask-wearing inside public areas and outside at large events.
For guests heading to the center to roam about outside, masks are only required for those who are not fully vaccinated against the virus. Employees are required to also wear masks at all times while working in communal spaces at the center.
The center is also working with event planners who are looking use the space to create a Health Safety Plan so that the center’s protocols remain consistent.
In addition to wearing masks, Guests are asked to continue to social distance, stay home if they’re feeling sick and follow event guidelines, which could be more stringent than those put in place by the center.
Husky fans are being welcomed back to their team’s stadium at the University of Washington this season, but the COVID-19 pandemic will still be felt in the latest measures the venue is taking to ensure health and safety of guests and employees.
Husky Athletics announced, starting Sept. 25, all ticketed events will require proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours of the event for those ages 12 and up. The new policy will begin with Husky football's home game against California.
Fans can have their vaccination status verified for the duration of the season at Sept. 18's game against Arizona, where there will also be a pop-up vaccination clinic for anyone who still needs their shot.
Husky Stadium is also following King County’s latest mask mandate on outdoor events with 500 or more people in attendance regardless of vaccination status. The rule also applies to indoor spaces in accordance with the state’s mandate.
Hand sanitizing stations have also been added throughout the stadium, which guests and employees are encouraged to use.
Tickets this season will be digital and must be downloaded to mobile devices. Fans are encouraged to download their tickets prior to arriving at the stadium. Tickets printed at home will no longer be accepted.
The venue has also gone cashless, moving to card-only transactions for concessions and ticketing after seeing the efficiency of cashless operations at other stadiums and event centers.
A clear bag policy is also effect, per the UW Athletics Department. Beyond small bags 4.5”x 6.5”, belongings must be held in a clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bag that is no larger than 12” x 6” x 12”.
Fans should also note that there is a no re-entry policy.
The nonprofit responsible for running the Neptune, Paramount and Moore theaters in Seattle released its COVID-19 policy update in late August ahead of its full slate of September events.
The Seattle Theatre Group is requiring proof of vaccination for all performances at the Paramount, Neptune and Moore except for those ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and those who have a “sincerely held religious belief that prevents vaccination.”
Those who are not vaccinated must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of the performance start time.
Masks are also required inside the venues regardless of vaccination status, in accordance with the latest state mandate, for both employees and patrons.
To see what is acceptable for proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, visit the nonprofit’s COVID-19 safety page.
Planning to reopen in December, the Seattle Rep is preparing its own set of COVID-19 protocols with an eye to the constantly evolving guidance from regional, state and national health officials.
As of Aug. 8, the theater is following guidelines laid out by the state and union partners. This means that, based on current state guidelines, guests will be required to wear a mask inside the venue regardless of vaccination status.
In addition to these guidelines, Seattle Rep is joining other theater groups and requiring vaccinations or a negative COVID-19 test for all attendees at all performances.
Those ineligible to receive a vaccine or have a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief preventing vaccination must provide proof of a negative PCR test take within 72 hours of the performance start time.
The theater is planning to sell all performances at regular capacity with most tickets being distributed digitally.
Sanitation stations have been added throughout the venue and HVAC improvements have been made with all air filters being upgraded throughout the building.
Renovations have also been made to the lobby and Bagley Wright Theater to improve airflow.
To see what is acceptable for proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, visit the venue's COVID-19 safety page.
McCaw Hall and the Opera Center at Seattle Center implemented various protocols to keep the audience, staff and performers safe while still creating an amazing show.
With the 2021-22 season starting in October, the venues ask guests to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test for all shows. Additionally, masks will be required throughout the season regardless of vaccination status.
Seattle Opera is requiring its staff to be vaccinated. Artists will be more than 20 feet from any audience members.
Attendees must purchase tickets and reserve their seats in advance of the performance. Seattle Opera will keep guests’ emails and phone numbers on file for contact tracing.
To see what is acceptable for proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, visit the Seattle Opera COVID-19 safety page.
The first performance at The 5th Avenue Theatre isn’t until January, but the venue already has a clear COVID-19 policy that aligns closely with other theaters in the Seattle area.
The theater will require proof of vaccination for all audience members or proof of a negative test for exempted individuals.
The test must be a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of the performance start time or a COVID-19 antigen test taken within six hours of the show start time.
Vaccines are also required for staff, artists, performers and volunteers. Patrons will also be required to wear masks except for designated areas while eating or drinking.
The theater only welcomes guests ages four and up.
To see what is acceptable for a proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, visit the theater's COVID-19 safety page.