Blue Cross Arena hosts first event that requires proof of vaccination

[anvplayer video=”5060281″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The vast majority of fans came ready for the first night of mandatory COVID-19 vaccines at the Blue Cross Arena Wednesday night.

"We got cards? You all got a card? We all got cards?” exclaimed wrestling fan Felix Coniglao of Buffalo outside the arena.

Coniglao has been vaccinated for COVID-19 since April but he says he’d do just about anything to get into an event like Wednesday’s All Elite Wrestling night.

"Get your cards, people! We want to go back to the real world, regular life!” he declared.

The crowds lined up, mostly ready for the first event at the Blue Cross Arena at which everyone over the age of 12 has to have at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to get in. Admission to any events, including Amerks and Knighthawks games will now require a photo D and a vaccine card or an electronic New York Excelsior Pass or similar app from another state on your phone.

"Peace of mind. That’s what this gives me that’s exactly what I’m after,” said Marcus Johnson who’s immune-compromised and got his shots back in the spring.

He was scheduled to get a booster next week and he says sitting in a big crowd at the arena, he was reassured to know everyone around him had to be vaccinated, but so is Keira Slater of Oswego, who didn’t get vaccinated until just this week.

"I was worried at first because we’re going to be sitting next to people, in very close vicinity, so you never know,” she explained.

Different story for Steve Cherry, who brought his wrestling belts, and a mask he was willing to wear all evening but was turned away because he’s not vaccinated.

"I am heartbroken right now. Because I really wanted to go in there,” he sighed.

On its website, the arena spells out the rules. To get in now, guests need at least one shot. In November, guests will need to have had both shots of Pfizer or Moderna or the one shot of Johnson & Johnson, and at least two weeks’ time since their last dose for it to take full effect.

Cherry says he couldn’t run out and get a shot right away, but now he’s thinking about getting vaccinated.

“When it came to a situation like this it’s like ‘Yeah, why not?‘” he said. “That’s where I kind of am!“ Because I want to go in there.”

Kids under 12 don’t have to be vaccinated to get into the arena, but they do have to wear masks the whole time they’re here.

For those who don’t want to be vaccinated, the arena said getting a refund will depend on the rules for each individual event.