NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Bridgestone Arena announced new COVID-19 protocols requiring all guests 12 years and older to either show proof that they have been fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test.
The new policy takes effect on October 2. COVID-19 test results must be from within 72 hours prior to events.
According to a statement from the Nashville Predators, they are the 14th team in the National Hockey League adopting policies like these for the 2021-2022 season.
The policy will be in effect until at least November 15 and may be maintained or altered after that date.
“Throughout the pandemic we have been consistent in stating that the health and wellness of all arena guests, Predators fans, our employees, players and performers is our number one priority,” said Sean Henry, President and CEO of Bridgestone Arena and the Nashville Predators. “Just two months ago, we believed that we were returning to a sense of normalcy, but unfortunately, with the impact of the delta variant, that has not been the case. We are united with health care professionals in our belief that the only way to end this pandemic is to get more people vaccinated. To that end, we want to do our part with these policies to make sure that our game and event attendees are as safe as possible and, at the same time, we will use our public platform to amplify the message of the importance of vaccines in hopes of encouraging more people to get vaccinated.”
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Guests under 12-years-old can choose to wear a mask or show a negative COVID-19 test while at the venue.
“We’re incredibly thankful to our guests and fans, who have continued to not only adhere to the policies but help us create and shape them,” Henry said. “Based on feedback from those fans, tour managers and other venues both locally and around the country, we’re hopeful that protocols like these will allow us to continue to host the biggest shows on tour, while at the same time bringing 17,159 of the best fans in sports to our games.”
Bridgestone Arena has teamed up with the Metro Public Health Department to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations at Bridgestone Arena in connection with every event. Vaccination opportunities will also be held at the Ford Ice Centers in Antioch and Bellevue every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Health officials expressed their support of the new policy in a statement sent out by Bridgestone Arena.
“The Metro Public Health Department appreciates Bridgestone Arena consulting with us to develop their enhanced COVID Entrance Protocol,” said Hugh Atkins, Director, Bureau of Environmental Health Services. “Bridgestone Arena’s protocol not only helps protect event attendees, but also encourages vaccination, which is our best tool for ending the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Bridgestone recommend that all guests wear masks while attending events at the arena.
“On behalf of all or our health care workers and staff battling this pandemic every hour of every day, I’d like to thank our partners at Bridgestone Arena for having the courage to step forward like this,” said Dr. C. Wright Pinson, Deputy CEO and Chief Health System Officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “We all recognize that the only way to stem the COVID-19 pandemic in middle Tennessee and across the country is to increase vaccination levels and we salute our local leaders, like those at Bridgestone Arena and the Predators for doing their part.”
For more information on the new protocols, click here.