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100% capacity at Bills games? Erie County sticking with vaccination plan

Poloncarz says the only way Erie County feels that they would be able to achieve 100% capacity at Highmark Stadium would be if everyone was vaccinated.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz joined 2 On Your Side's Town Hall on Monday to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and Bills fans returning to Highmark Stadium in the fall.

Poloncarz announced a plan last month to allow full attendance at both Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres games. Under the county's plan, all fans and staff would be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. 

On Monday, 2 On Your Side's Kate Welshofer asked Poloncarz if the county is still committed to that plan despite legal threats.

"Well it's pretty strong case-law precedent that governments can set standards for governmental entities," Poloncarz said. "There's no question that a school district can require vaccines to enter the schools. And we know we can do that for governmental buildings."

In terms of Highmark Stadium, Poloncarz says the only way Erie County feels that they would be able to achieve 100 percent capacity at the stadium would be if everyone was vaccinated.

"I know the Bills and the Sabres owners, the Pegulas, would love to see 100 percent capacity back in the fall. But the only way to safely do it is to ensure that everyone is vaccinated," Poloncarz said. "So it's still our plan to do that."

Poloncarz went on to say that the county has had discussions with the Buffalo Bills about how they can make this possible. 

"We're not in a position right now to announce exactly how it's going to get done, but we all want to see a full house in the fall after the last season we had with the Bills," Poloncarz said.

Click the video player below to watch the full interview with Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz: