The Seattle Sounders Major League Soccer franchise has set out the parameters for the phased return of fans to Lumen Field before fully reopening, without any COVID-19 requirements in place, in late July.

The Sounders issued detailed guidelines for season ticket-holders – known as Alliance Members – for the next three home fixtures on June 23, June 26 and July 7.

“For home matches scheduled after July 7 – starting with the team taking on Sporting Kansas City on July 25 – Washington State is expected to be fully reopened without any remaining COVID-19 health requirements in place,” the Sounders said. “Lumen Field will then continue operating at full capacity for Sounders FC matches, with no vaccination requirement in place.

“Lumen Field has implemented an array of enhanced measures to make the Sounders FC matchday experience as safe as possible, including a touchless venue experience, new food and beverage protocols, in addition to enhanced sanitation procedures. All of these new measures will continue.”

The stadium’s lower bowl will be opening to full capacity for the next three home games. However, in line with current State of Washington health regulations, proof of full vaccination is required for fans to attend in such full-capacity sections. Full vaccination is deemed to be two weeks beyond the final dose.

Children from the ages of five to 15 who are not fully vaccinated or not eligible to be vaccinated can attend, as long as they wear a mask at all times and carry proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of kick-off.

Those who are not fully vaccinated can relocate to physically distanced sections in the upper bowl, or return their tickets for credit.

The franchise’s owner and president of business operations, Peter Tomozawa, said: “We recognise that reaching this point of fully reopening has been a long and careful process, led by our public health experts and assisted by the wonderful science of our vaccines.

“We understand that not all of our fans may have had the opportunity to get vaccinated yet, and while we all hope that proof of vaccination will not be a requirement for entry to our matches later this season, our entire organisation encourages anyone able who hasn’t yet gotten their shot to do so as soon as they can – to protect yourself, your loved ones and the community at large.”

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