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After being closed to the public for much of 2020 due to the pandemic, Chicago’s United Center is open with concerts and sports events on the calendar. The announcement made on Sept. 2, 2021, reflects the rules for visiting the arena or campus on their website — guests and employees are required to be fully vaccinated against or test negative for COVID-19 and present proof.
United Center will accept either printed or digital proof of vaccination and negative test results upon arrival at the arena. Since children under 12 cannot be vaccinated at this time, they will have to present proof of a negative test to gain entrance to the facility and its grounds.
Moreover, everyone over the age of two must wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose in line with Chicago’s masking regulations. Masks can be removed while a person actively eats or drinks.
Additional Steps Taken by the United Center to Reduce COVID-19 Transmission
Additional measures to help create a COVID-19 free zone, the United Center has implemented paperless tickets using touchless scanning from mobile devices at entrances.
The arena has adopted a fully cashless system to ensure contactless purchases of food, beverages, and merchandise. As a result, no cash will be accepted.
To purchase concessions, guests are asked to use the United Center App, available on Google Play and the Apple Store.
Bags and purses are no longer allowed inside the center, except for medical or diaper bags. Guests are limited to a wallet no larger than 4-inches by 6-inches by 1-inch. The United Center has a bag check available in Parking Lot J on Wood Street and Monroe Street.
The United Center was not entirely unused in 2020; it served as a mass voting site in November. In April 2021, Bulls and Bears games resumed, as did other events. The arena used CDC’s prescribed safety restrictions of the time.
As the virus continues to mutate, health and safety rules may change. Therefore it is advisable to check the United Center’s website for updates before making plans to see the Blackhawks or Bulls play. As of September 3, the website added “specific event health and safety requirements” for these events: Tame Impala, Sept. 7; and Harry Styles, September 24 and 25.
COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone over 12 regardless of insurance or immigrant status. The first line of defense against the virus is to be vaccinated.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
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United Center: Frequently Asked Questions
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of James Willamor’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Mary’s Flickr Page – Creative Common License