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Sports venues, ticketed events gear up for new vaccination requirements

A spokesperson for Target Center told KARE 11 they're adding 30 additional temporary staff members per event, to meet the demand.

MINNEAPOLIS — Days after city-wide vaccine mandates in St. Paul and Minneapolis went into effect for restaurants and bars, sports venues in the Twin Cities are now making preparations.

Starting Jan. 26, people attending a ticketed event or sports game will have to either show a valid COVID-19 vaccine card or proof of a negative test within 72 hours to get in.

"We at Ticket King just have to roll with the punches," said Michael Nowakowski, with Ticket King.

Nowakowski says since the initial announcement – he's already noticed some confusion among ticket holders.

"It was just a lot of uncertainty as far as when the rule was going to be implemented, so I almost feel like we have seen the effect already, because people already assumed for the Wild game tonight, the Timberwolves game tomorrow, the Gopher game today, people would have to bring their vaccination card," he said.

A spokesperson for the Target Center told KARE 11 they're hiring an additional 30 temporary employees, per event, to check for vaccination cards or negative tests and to answer questions. They say that number may vary depending on the event.

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They went on to say, although it may vary, they're providing up to 90 minutes extra time for guests to get in – something Nowakowski is encouraging.

"I would recommend people get to the games earlier," he said.

Nowakowski says he noticed a slight difference in ticket sales since the announcement. "It's really slowed down, there's been a noticeable decrease in the amount of sales we've had," he said.

He's now asking people to pack their patience and continue supporting sports events across the Twin cities.

"I just hope that we get to where we all want to be, that COVID is an afterthought because of things like this," he said.

According to the Target Center's website: 

In accordance with the latest Minneapolis city-wide policy, effective January 26, 2022 all guests ages 5 and older must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test conducted by a medical professional within 72-hours prior to entering the venue.

Accepted forms of proof of COVID-19 vaccine are as followed: original vaccine card, photo of original vaccine card or Docket app.

Completed vaccination status is defined as after an individual has received the second dose in a two-dose series of an approved COVID-19 vaccine or a single dose in a one-dose approved COVID-19 vaccine. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they finish their Completed Vaccination Series.

For more information, click here.

RELATED: New indoor dining mandates for Minneapolis, St. Paul go into effect

According to the Xcel Energy Center's website:  

Required Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID-19 Test for Events with Food & Beverage: In accordance with Mayor Melvin Carter's Emergency Executive Order 2022-4, proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test obtained within 72 hours of entry to the event is required for events with food or beverage. Individuals under the age of 5 are exempt from the order.
Emergency Executive Order 2022-4

  • Proof of Vaccination Documentation: Proof of a completed vaccination series against COVID-19 means presentation of a CDC-provided card, photograph of card, other government-approved record of vaccination, or an application approved by a government entity (e.g. Docket) to hold immunization information in conjunction with any photo identification that includes a photograph and name of the individual. A photo identification is not required for individuals under the age of 18. 

  • Completed Vaccination Series Definition: Completed vaccination series means two weeks following completion of any CDC approved vaccination series, including: A 2-dose series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or a single dose COVID-19 vaccine (Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine).

  • Negative COVID-19 Option: A negative COVID-19 test obtained within 72 hours of entry to the event means an email, printout, or screen shot with the name of the individual and the test result showing the date of the test in conjunction with any photo identification that includes a photograph and name of the individual. A photo identification is not required for individuals under the age of 18. At-home tests do NOT meet this requirement.

Check back often for updates to the event venue website as guidelines are subject to change at any time.

Minnesota Vaccine Connector can be found here.

Free COVID testing locations can be found here.

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