Seahawks fans (mostly) embrace COVID-19 restrictions

SEATTLE — Seahawks fans faced several new COVID-19 restrictions as they poured into Lumen Field for the team’s home opener. It was the first regular-season game since the 2019-2020 season.

There were concerns the new restrictions would create bottlenecks before fans could even get in. And that was a reasonable concern. After all, fans now must show proof of vaccination or a negative test. But that didn’t seem to prevent anyone from easily getting into the stadium.

It was a welcome sight for Seahawks fans, who missed all their blue and green hearts cheering on the team from inside Lumen Field.

“Some of those games last year, I was like, man, if we would have had the 12th man, we would have done better,” said Raymond Butler of Seattle.

It’s a special day for his 9-year-old daughter too.

“My dad has been here a few times, and he has told me about it,” she said. “And I really wanted to come.”

But this is a Seahawks home opener like none before. Each person was forced to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test for COVID-19 in the last 72 hours. Then, once inside the stadium, they must wear a mask, except when eating or drinking.

“I kinda see both sides of it,” said Butler. “And so, I’m happy. I’m happy we can come here and get back in the stadium.”

“Honestly, it’s a nightmare,” said Jenny Long.

This Puyallup woman said she struggled to get a PCR test result back in time for today’s big game.

“You already have to wear a mask in there,” said Long. “They say the mask works. So I’m trying to figure out why we have to go through all this other stuff.”

Others applauded the COVID-19 restrictions but wondered how it would all work.

“I’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Paula B. “And so, that way everything can get back to normal. And just for me, for my protection. I feel comfortable being vaccinated.”

“It’s definitely difficult,” said Takota Bryson of Puyallup. “I don’t know how they’re going to read everybody’s vaccination card.”

One of the workers here said some people had to fish around for their documents. But that turned out to be a minor problem.

Still, the fan who had to get a negative test has a cautionary tale for fans coming to future games. She said she had to look far and wide to find a test and didn’t get the results until Sunday morning — just hours before the game.