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Oilers fan turns in season tickets after 38 years because of new COVID-19 policy

As the Edmonton Oilers announce a proof of vaccination or negative COVID test is needed to get into Rogers Place next season, one Oilers fan who’s been there since nearly the beginning says he’s done.

EDMONTON (CityNews) ─ Greg Steele has had enough with the Edmonton Oilers.

An Oilers season ticket holder for nearly four decades, Steele says recent COVID-19 health measures imposed by the Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) has turned him off for good.

The OEG is requiring fans who want to watch the Oilers play in person at Rogers Place this season be fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test result.

That’s not sitting right with Steele.

“I have tens of thousands of dollars in Oilers memorabilia,” said Steele. “Grant Fuhr, Messier, Coffey, Gretzky, I partied with all those guys back in the ‘80s. That’s done, not going back up.”

Steele has been a season ticket holder since 1983. He’s been through the ups and many downs of being an Oilers fan since then.

But he says the new vaccine or negative COVID test requirement has forced him to do the one thing that 31 years without a Stanley Cup hasn’t: handing in his tickets.

“If you’re asking me for my double vaccine requirement, can you ask someone if they got their STI test?” he said. “Like how far is this going to go? It’s nobody’s business, especially not the government’s, if I’ve been vaccinated or not.”

Steele says choosing to go to a game simply isn’t a necessity.

“If you’re afraid for your health, stay home. There’s no need for you to go to an Oilers game.”

The new policy will apply to fans aged 12 and older. OEG says the policy will begin with the first pre-season game on Sept. 28 and until “the foreseeable future.”

The group is also requiring requires all employees, volunteers and contractors be fully vaccinated in order to work at Rogers Place.

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