Longtime Buffalo Sabres Anthem Singer Will Not Sing at Games This Season
The Buffalo Sabres 2021-2022 regular season will start in just under three weeks; when they host the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, October 14th at KeyBank Center. The preseason schedule starts this Tuesday, against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
One of the longstanding traditions at Sabres home games are both national anthems -- the U.S. and Canadian anthems. Doug Allen has been singing the anthems at many home games for well over 20 years, but that will not be the case this season.
Doug Allen sent a memo on Saturday that stated he will not be getting the COVID-19 vaccine, and therefore, will not be performing the anthem at games for the 2021-2022 season.
Allen states that he had COVID-19 in January of this year, and "has natural immunity," so he will not be getting the vaccine. He adds that he respects freedom of choice and that he hopes to perform the anthem again at some point.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Pegula Sports and Entertainment announced a new vaccine mandate that has taken effect at both KeyBank Center and Highmark Stadium.
Those 12 years of age or older must have one vaccine dose until October 31st, when all fans in attendance must be fully vaccinated. Those under 12 must be masked. There is no test-out option.
The line to get into KeyBank Center was quite long on Saturday for the Eric Church concert. It's best to get to any game or event as early as possible this fall, due to the proof of vaccine checks that will be taking place.
Physical vaccine cards, Excelsior pass, clear digital vaccine card, or a government-issued vaccine proof (Non-New York State residents) will be accepted. Photos of vaccine cards will NOT be accepted.