DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks are requiring fans who attend games at the American Airlines Center this season to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide a negative COVID-19 test.
Face mask will also be required for everyone over the age of 2, in accordance with the Dallas County mask order. A COVID-19 vaccine or negative test will not be required for those under the age of 12.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban is standing by the vaccine or negative COVID-test mandate for fans attending home games.
The new mandate was outlined in an email sent to season ticket holders and quietly posted on the team’s website without any announcement.
But word spread and Cuban has been responding to questions about the policy that goes further than any other pro sports team in the state.
Teams across the country have different policies, with some even stricter than the Mavs, but there are also those saying they don’t plan to go to games because they’re unwilling to get vaccinated or tested.
Cuban told FOX4 it was an easy decision, saying in a statement: "…for the unvaxxed, if they don’t have COVID, just get a test, have a negative result, show it to us, and you are good to go. The only people that should have problems with this are people who can’t pass a COVID test and want to go to a game."
"AAC staff will be at each door checking proof of negative tests and/or vaccination and denying entry to those non-compliant with these requirements," it states in the Mavericks' COVID-19 protocols.
Cash will not be used at concession stands, bars, and merchandise stands.
The Mavs will continue to monitor local trends and could change their policies throughout the season.
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Social media erupted after the news. Some vowed not to come, while others felt more comfortable about going to games.
"I try to get to one or two a year," fan Christian Markus Ramirez said. "It’s not mainly for me, for like, if I go, it’s mainly for the people around me when I get back home."
The Mavs are the only major Texas sports team with this stringent requirement.
There were 93,000 fans who packed AT&T Stadium Monday without any proof needed.
The Mavs are not the first pro sports team in the country to do this.
In the NFL alone, teams - including the Bills and Raiders - require vaccines without options for the unvaccinated to show negative test results.
Not giving the unvaccinated an option would likely have caught even more outrage.
Especially, since Mavericks guard Trey Burke recently shared that he is not yet vaccinated.
On Wednesday, Burke explained his decision for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine, adding that "it’s a personal choice [he’s] still figuring out."