ST. LOUIS — Illini fans: if you’re heading to Braggin’ Rights, don’t forget your vaccination card.
Or to take a quick COVID-19 test.
All guests ages 12 years or older for Wednesday’s college basketball game pitting Illinois and Missouri must provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test from the last 72 hours.
Photo ID is also required. For any guests under 18 who don’t have one, a parent or guardian must verify their identities.
That’s the law of the land for several St. Louis sports arenas, including the Enterprise Center venue. This is the first game on the Illini men’s basketball schedule where a vaccination-or-test requirement has been in place.
Attendees can also upload their vaccination cards or negative test results via smartphone, on ecfancheckin.com.
The arena began enforcing these COVID-19 safety requirements on Oct. 15.
This winter, transmission of the virus has risen again as people flock indoors for cold weather.
The U.S. is currently detecting about 120,000 new COVID-19 cases per day, up 40 percent from two weeks ago.
According to Illini athletics spokesperson Kent Brown, notices of the arena’s vaccination-or-test policy have been sent to everyone who has purchased a ticket.
“The last thing we want is someone to get down and get turned away, so we’ve sent numerous emails and communications,” he said. “I can’t attest that everybody reads everything, so we have to over-communicate.”
All tickets for this game are digital, so the message denoting the policy is available in the ticket confirmation emails, Brown said.
Mark Mueller of Champaign has attended every open Braggin’ Rights game since 1993. A few COVID safety measures won’t stop him this time around.
Mueller and his family entourage will be fully vaccinated, cards in hand, when Wednesday’s game comes around, he said.
“I’d like to see a nice, strong Illini victory,” Mueller said. “These games have typically been very close regardless of team rankings.”
Nine of the last 10 Braggin’ Rights contests have been decided by nine points or fewer. Mizzou has won the last three matchups against Illinois, including last year’s game hosted in Mizzou Arena against the No. 6 Illini.
A few thousand tickets, including many on the lower level, have been returned to Ticketmaster and are on sale on the platform, Brown said Thursday afternoon.
The game tips off at 8 p.m., one hour after Mizzou’s bowl game against Army, hosted at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.