Starting Sept. 17, the Sky will require all fans to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours before attending a game at Wintrust Arena. The mandate, announced Wednesday, is for fans ages 12 and older.
The continued rise in COVID-19 and breakthrough cases prompted the Sky’s front office to reevaluate its policy. Ultimately, the decision was made to align requirements with other large indoor venues, such as the United Center.
The new policy is in addition to the statewide mask mandate.
“We have a lot of young people that come to our games,” Sky president/CEO Adam Fox said. “They are young people that can’t get vaccinated. We want it to be a safe environment for everyone attending our games.”
The Sky have one more game before the protocols take effect, Sunday against the Washington Mystics (2 p.m., Ch. 7). They play the Aces on Sept. 17.
All but two employees in the Sky’s front office are vaccinated. The WNBA announced early in the season that 99% of its players are fully vaccinated. Still, players have tested positive for COVID-19.
Dallas Wings forward Isabelle Harrison and Las Vegas Aces center Liz Cambage tested positive last week and were put in the league’s health and safety protocols. Both are fully vaccinated.
The Sky clinched their third consecutive playoff berth Sunday, beating the Aces 92-84. Their remaining three games are at home and will determine seeding. They entered Wednesday in sixth place in the league. They’ll host the No. 7 seed if they stay in that spot.
The first and second rounds of the WNBA playoffs are single elimination. The top two teams in the league, the Connecticut Sun and the Aces, receive a bye to the semifinals.
In the first round, the No. 5 seed hosts the No. 8 seed, and the No. 6 seed hosts the No. 7 seed. In the second round, the No. 3 seed hosts the lowest-seeded first-round winner and the No. 4 seed hosts the other first-round winner.
The playoffs begin Sept. 23.