EVERETT — Fans of the Everett Silvertips won’t have to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to attend games.
At least not yet.
The Silvertips play their first games in front of fans in 18 months when they host the Everett Silvertips Preseason Classic on Friday through Sunday at Angel of the Winds Arena.
The classic features the five U.S. Division teams playing six games, two each day. Everett faces Spokane at 6 p.m. on Friday, Tri-City at 6 p.m. on Saturday and Portland at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
This week saw the state’s biggest professional and college sports teams announce that spectators will need to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test in order to attend games. The Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Kraken, University of Washington and Washington State University all made those announcements Tuesday.
A handful of WHL teams have adopted similar policies, including Everett’s U.S. Division rivals the Seattle Thunderbirds and Portland Winterhawks.
As of now the Silvertips are not requiring fans to provide proof of vaccination. This weekend fans will be required to wear masks while in Angel of the Winds Arena except when they are eating or drinking.
But it’s possible that could change.
“There no need for proof of vaccination as of yet,” Silvertips chief operating officer Zoran Rajcic said. “(The Thunderbirds) play in King County, which has it as a requirement, and with Portland I believe the Rose Garden implemented it with its teams so the Winterhawks followed suit. Us, Spokane and Tri-City are still awaiting word from our health districts about what our policy is going to be.”
Fans will need to provide proof of vaccination to attend the Seattle Kraken preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 1 at Angel of the Winds Arena. The Kraken have a stricter policy than the state’s other pro teams, as they are not accepting a negative test.
As for what’s happening on the ice this weekend, it will be the first chance to see the new-look Silvertips in action. Everett is coming off a coronavirus pandemic-shortened season in which it went 19-4-0-0 and won its fifth U.S. Division title in the past seven seasons. However, the Tips lost several key figures from that team, including two-time WHL Goaltender of the Year Dustin Wolf and co-leading scorers Cole Fonstad and Gage Goncalves.
Everett does have some reinforcements coming in, as the team announced a slew of player signings this week. The group includes 17-year-old defenseman Dexter Whittle (a seventh-round pick in the 2019 WHL draft) from Virden, Manitoba; 16-year-old forwards Roan Woodward (fourth round 2020) from Nipawin, Saskatchewan, and Kyan Grouette (seventh round 2020) from Dauphin, Manitoba; and 16-year-old defensemen Eric Jamieson (ninth round 2020) from Calgary, Alberta, and Logan Greenough (10th round 2020) from Calgary, Alberta. Signing standard player agreements with Everett makes the players eligible to participate in this weekend’s games.