Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced that WNY sports fans must be fully vaccinated in order to attend Buffalo Bills or Buffalo Sabres games this fall. Fans must use the new NYS Excelsior Pass to verify vaccination.
“Some people are like, ‘Well that’s unfair,’ but there’s no God-given right to attend a football game,” Poloncarz said.
Team officials are supporting the decision by county officials for a number of reasons, first and foremost the safety of fans and staff. Erie County owns the facilities that the Bill and Sabres games are held, providing them with legal authority to require vaccines, regardless of state law.
Because the county does not own the Bison baseball stadium, the vaccination requirement has not been announced for the city’s minor league baseball games.
Fans without an Iphone to access the Excelsior Pass are unsure how this will impact their eligibility to attend games. Likewise, fans from other states and Canada are waiting for guidance on how they will have access to the Bills and Sabres.
Other Erie County officials were not happy with Poloncarz over the decision. Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw said, “Mark Poloncarz should spend less time killing businesses, ruining our economy, and destroying the dreams of die-hard Bills fans watching games in person again.”