OKC Thunder Announces New COVID-19 Protocols Ahead Of New Season


Wednesday, September 22nd 2021, 3:53 pm
By: Hunter McKee


OKLAHOMA CITY -

It's a trend Americans are seeing nationwide; proof of vaccination required for large indoor events. Now, that safety protocol includes fans going to Oklahoma City Thunder games.

One of the largest sporting events in the state recently looked a little different as the Paycom Center sat empty for home games last season.

"We made the decision from a health standpoint -- it's better not to bring fans back into the building -- but also from an experience standpoint," said Dan Mahoney, VP of broadcasting and corporate communications for the Thunder. 

Now, fans will be back for the start of the new NBA season with new protocols put in place. 

Thunder officials said beginning Oct. 4, anyone who attend games will be required to show proof of full or partial COVID vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours before the game.

"We think those are options," said Mahoney. "That's not a mandate, those are options that people can take advantage of one of those three things."

The Thunder also strongly recommend fans wear face makes in the arena. These protocols will be in place through at least the first 12 games of the preseason and regular season, including the preseason game at the BOK Center in Tulsa.

Mahoney said OU Health will be at those 12 games, giving out first doses of the vaccine, which would allow you to get into the arena.

"We've seen cases up, we've seen hospitalizations up," Mahoney said. "People are still getting this, people are still getting sick from this. We still have a responsibility to the community, as well."

Officials said they'll constantly review these protocols based on the status of COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma.