PPG Paints Arena brings back mask policy ahead of busy concert and sports seasons

PITTSBURGH — If you’re headed to PPG Paints Arena for a show or game anytime soon, you will want to have your mask with you. Arena leaders announced the mask policy reinstatement on Tuesday, ahead of the James Taylor and Jackson Browne concert.

“Out of an abundance of caution with Allegheny County reaching the designated threshold of new cases, PPG Paints Arena will begin following guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that all guests entering the arena wear masks,” explained Vice President of Public Affairs for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Tim McNutly.

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Arena officials will continue to work with their partners at UPMC and the state Department of Health to follow all public health guidelines set by federal, state and local authorities to keep arena visitors, workers, players and performers safe, just as the team did during the return of fans to games this spring.

“With the help of our partners and especially our fans, we were able to welcome thousands safely back into PPG Paints Arena this spring, and we were able to implement protocols to open at full capacity with masks this June. All the precautions we put in place − from paperless ticketing to cashless transactions and thorough cleaning and air quality controls – are still in effect for tonight’s concert and all events going forward,” said Gary Desjardins, general manager at PPG Paints Arena/ASM Global.

“I have a mask with me and if I have to, I will put it on. But I don’t see the reason in it,” Pat Hoffman said.

Bill Ellis didn’t bring one with him and said he’d rather have a full refund than wear a face covering.

“It’s a little disappointing that when I got the tickets there was no mention of it. Then all of the sudden at the last minute they decide to do it. It seems like they tried to blind side us a little bit,” Ellis said.

Channel 11 reached out to Stage AE to see if that venue would be changing its rules. Officials said staff will be wearing masks and they strongly encouraged patrons to wear one as well.