CINCINNATI — Xavier University officials announced Wednesday morning that the school is requiring fans 12 and older to be vaccinated or receive a negative COVID test to enter basketball games at the Cintas Center. 

What You Need To Know

  • The Cintas Center is the first major sports venue in Ohio to implement the temporary policy

  • Visitors must provide proof of vaccination or a negative test result within 72 hours

  • Xavier starts up the season again this Friday against Butler

The Cintas Center is the first major sports venue in Ohio to implement the temporary policy. Other colleges in other states, including Big Ten schools Michigan State and Rutgers, have the same policy. 

The policy goes into effect immediately. Visitors will need to have a negative test result within 72 hours, and they must wear a mask unless they are eating or drinking.

"These policies mirror those that apply to Xavier’s more than 7,000 students and 1,000 employees. Our priority is the health and safety of our students, employees and fans attending our games. Given the transmissibility of the omicron variant, we’re taking the same steps that have effectively limited COVID on Xavier’s campus over the last year,” Xavier Vice President and Director of Athletics Greg Christopher wrote in a release.

Visitors can provide the following to enter the basketball court:

  • COVID-19 vaccination card
  • Picture of COVID-19 vaccination card
  • Screenshot of COVID-19 vaccination record from a pharmacy
  • Screenshot of test results of negative PCR or rapid antigen
  • Fans should also be ready to provide a picture ID to make sure it matches the vaccination record or negative test result 

“I know all of our fans want our teams to be playing as much basketball as we can this season and that starts with creating an environment that is as safe as possible," Christopher wrote. 

Ohio State University also made alterations to its policies this week. The university decided to close down concessions at games, and fans are not allowed to bring their own food or drinks.