Stampeders kick off final home game before vaccine system is implemented

The Canadian Football League’s Labour Day classic at McMahon Stadium will be the final home game for the Calgary Stampeders that fans can attend without being required to provide proof of vaccination.

The Stampeders and Edmonton Elks kicked off the annual tradition Monday afternoon, with fans flocking to tailgate parties in McMahon's parking lot and eventually advancing through the gates for the 2:30 p.m. kickoff.

Starting September 15th, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) will require all fans, staff and players to be fully-vaccinated for events at the Scotiabank Saddledome and McMahon Stadium.

"As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, CSEC believes this policy to be essential in delivering a safe environment for our fans and staff as well as an important measure to help our communities and businesses to continue reopening safely," read a release issued last month.

FANS ON BOARD

Stampeder fans are on board with the idea.

“I don’t care, already vaccinated, all good,” said Dustin Van Vught.

Long time Stamps fan Steve Pilkington said it’s the right step.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it,” he said.

“I’ve been double-vaccinated. I don’t mind wearing a mask. If it’s going to keep us safe, going to keep society open, I’m all for that.”

There is still no word on whether there will be the use of rapid tests or whether fans under the age of 12, who are not eligible to be vaccinated, will be allowed to attend events.

The first game the new vaccine system will be used for is October 2nd, when the Stampeders host the Saskatchewan Roughriders.