Sunday, June 23, 2024

Professional sports: 1,000 max spectators in Ontario

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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If Quebec’s “zero tolerance”, the Ontario government has announced that a 1,000 spectator limit will be set from Friday for domestic matches of professional teams playing on its soil.

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Thus, Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, like senators in Ottawa, will have to comply with this new measure aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. In the case of rooms with a capacity of less than 2000 seats, the authorized ceiling is 50%.

On Saturday, the Leafs are set to host the Ottawa Senators at the Scotiabank Arena, but Pittman Circuit may postpone the game to avoid losing profits. The senators also canceled a training scheduled for Thursday, citing precautionary measures.

Regardless of whether the match between the Maple Leafs and Senators will take place or not, Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion is already upbeat for the next few months. It is believed that the various clubs in the National Hockey League, including the senators, will be able to take advantage of the Olympic respite that was due to make up for lost time.

Given the postponement of the game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and senators, which was scheduled for Friday, December 31 at the Canadian Tire Center, the Ottawa team already has eight games to resume as per schedule.

Dorion noted that “we had a long hiatus in February and a lot of our matches to resume at home,” noting that he was “very confident” in an interview with Sportsnet.

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The Raptors are still in Ontario, but in the NBA, they meet the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday in Toronto.

With the 1,000-seat limit imposed on Thursday, Ontario became the third Canadian province to introduce professional sports to continue operating at less than 50% of capacity. In addition to Quebec, which requires camera parties, Manitoba allows 250 people to attend. Alberta and British Columbia hold 50% capacity for now.

In this context, it should be remembered that the Canadians’ games that were scheduled to be played at the Peel Center against the Washington Capitals, Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabers and Columbus Blue Jackets, between January 4 and 10, have been postponed to a later date. In addition, the next meeting, which pits CH against the Bruins in Montreal, will take place on January 12, on the date initially planned, but the two teams will face each other instead at TD Garden in Boston.

In the COVID-19 dossier, the administration of Ontario Premier Doug Ford has halved the mandatory isolation period for anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus, and reduced it entirely to five days. This decision follows a US Public Health decision, which the National Hockey League has chosen to enforce as well. However, the affected person must have seen their symptoms subside for at least 24 hours.

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