The Dallas Mavericks are requiring all fans who attend games at the American Airlines Center this season to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, or show that they had a negative test taken 48 hours prior to the game, with certain exceptions.
Exceptions exist for children under the age of 12 who are not seated within 15 feet of the court. Since they are not able to be vaccinated they are not required to comply with the vaccine or testing requirements.
However, everyone over the age of 2 must still wear a mask inside the arena unless actively eating or drinking, in accordance with Dallas County's mask mandate.
The team said beginning Oct. 1, fans can upload the desired documents and check-in by following the steps on MavsCheckin.com for seamless entry into the arena. For those who do not have access to a smartphone, all attendees must bring a printed or digital copy of negative test results or a physical COVID-19 vaccination card.
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The Mavericks said they will have staff at each door of the AAC checking proof of negative tests and vaccination status and that those who are not in compliance will not be allowed in the arena.
Landon Thomas runs the website, MavsFansForLife.com, and says since Thursday's announcement, he's heard from fans on both sides of the issue.
"It's Mark Cuban's responsibility to make sure that Mavs fans are safe inside his house, the AAC, and also keep his investment safe -- protecting the players," Thomas said.
Outside the AAC, fans weighed in on the policy.
"I think that’s fine," said Ron Houghton, who told NBC 5 he is vaccinated.
However, his wife Tammy Houghton said she isn't vaccinated yet.
"If I'm not going to get vaccinated, then I'm going to have to do a lot more planning," she said.
Further details can be found on the Mavs' website, on their 2021-2022 Health and Safety Protocols page.
On Wednesday, Mavericks guard Trey Burke told reporters after practice that he has yet to receive the vaccination. According to NBA policies, players who haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccination will be tested far more often than their vaccinated colleagues and face a slew of other restrictions.
"There's no more unified set of owners than the owners in the NBA and they're all about communicating one message and so the fact that more of them have come out with similar policies as the Mavericks over the last 48 hours is no surprise," said Ray Mallouk, co-founder of Breakaway Sports Marketing in Plano.
The Dallas Mavericks are hosting the annual Fan Jam on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. where fans will get a first look at the complete 2021-2022 Dallas Mavericks team at open practice on the main court. The event will feature the Mavs ManiAACs, Drumline, D-Town Crew and Mascots and is free and open to the public. COVID-19 protocols are in place for this event.
The Mavs' pre-season tip-off is Wednesday, Oct. 6 against the Utah Jazz.