Blue Cross Arena hosts first Amerks game with vaccine requirement for kids

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Blue Cross Arena now requires everyone older than 5 to show proof of vaccination in order to enter the building. The new rule covers Amerks and Nighthawk games, as well as concerts and other events.

Entry into the arena only requires the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine if it’s Moderna or Pfizer. You’re good if you’ve received the single Johnson & Johnson shot. You must also show your Excelsior Pass, or have your physical vaccination card with you.

The Rochester Amerks were back on the ice Wednesday night following the postponement of Monday’s game against the Utica Comets, due to the American Hockey League COVID-19 protocols affecting the Comets. Fans like Skylar Jones waited all day to see their favorite team in action.

"I feel like the Amerks are gonna win," Skylar said.

He said he has attended several games already in his young life, but Wednesday night’s game was different. In order to enter the arena, his mother had to show proof that he’s vaccinated. Natalie Jones had both their vaccine cards in hand.

"I’m all for the vaccine," Natalie said. "So, I mean proof of vaccination as long as he has it, I don’t see an issue with it."

Other parents like Abe Debadts will go along and will follow the rules, but disagree.

"It bothers me more for philosophical reasons than anything else. I don’t know why we’re rushing to vaccinate kids, and I don’t know. I don’t know what the rationale is with kids," Debadts said.

Wednesday’s match against the Providence Bruins also attracted several families that are still in the holiday spirit.

"I just got this jersey for Christmas. Captain of the Rochester Americans," said Nick Kash as he showed off his jersey.

He and his wife, Maddie, are season ticket holders.

"We’re so happy to be back. I’m so happy to be back seeing the guys. This is a long-standing thing we’ve done in our family, and amongst our friend group for years, and years, and years. Especially after missing them over the last few days. I’m so happy to be back in our seats," Kash said.

Even fans visiting from the west coast were at the game.

California resident Ryan Nicholson said, "It brings joy to a lot of people. See people play. See people fight. Have a good time. Brother, father, sister, mother, cousins sitting next to you it’s all fun and games."