With the increase in COVID-19 cases and the arrival of a variable Omicron in the country, Ontario was the first Canadian province to once again reduce its access to sports facilities.
Premier Doug Ford announced at a press briefing on Wednesday that all stands, stadiums and performance halls that can accommodate more than 1,000 people will be limited to 50% of their capacity as of Saturday, due to COVID-19. Among others, this will affect senators in Ottawa and the Toronto Maple Leafs, in the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Toronto Raptors in the NBA.
At the Scotiabank Arena, where the Leafs and Raptors play their home games, 10,000 fans can now be admitted into the stands.
“You have to target places with the most indoor crowds, often with people who don’t have masks,” Ford said. I know it’s going to be difficult, but it’s an important step in slowing the spread of the Omicron variant during our efforts to release booster shots. Everyone is at work.”
The senators also announced that they are preparing to change their ticketing system to comply with the new guidelines, so they will be ready when the Boston Bruins visit the Canadian Tire Center next Sunday.
According to sportsnet journalist Randeep Ganda, provinces such as Quebec and British Columbia have not yet considered taking measures similar to those in Ontario.
In the NHL, after being on camera for the previous year, the Ontario teams were able to perform in front of 10,000 fans during the preparatory schedule for the 2021-2022 season in September. The Senators and Maple Leafs were again able to play in front of the fully filled stands in October.
“Hipster-friendly tv trailblazer. Problem solver. Infuriatingly humble introvert. Reader. Student. Subtly charming bacon maven.”