Wednesday, December 8, 2021
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Ottawa senators hope sold-out opens to home despite current public health limits

Ottawa senators hope sold-out opens to home despite current public health limits

OTTAWA – Puck drop is in less than a month, and after 18 months, fans are ready to be back at the Canadian Tire Center.

“I’m super excited, I can not wait. I texted the guys right away as soon as they put the tickets up for sale,” Ottawa Senators fan Cam Duff said.

Duff, like many Sens fans, already has his ticket home.

“We are super excited to have hockey back, to have fans back in the building,” said Tom Hoof, Vice President of Marketing for the Senators.

The team is already selling tickets for the first half of the season and the hope is that they will play in front of a sold out spectators.

The only, dazzling, obstacle?

The public health guidelines have limited capacity to just over five percent of it.

“We’re selling for the whole building right now, and hopefully the province will let us have it all,” Hoof said.

According to Ontario’s public health guidelines, professional sports teams must have either 50 percent capacity or 1,000 fans in indoor arenas; depending on what there are fewer people.

Sens says they are aware of the current guidelines but do not have a plan if those guidelines are still in place by October 14th.

“We’m not sure how it’s going to work yet, but we’re hoping for a full building at night in the first game,” Hoof said.

Hoof later told CTV News Ottawa that fans would follow a process if they were affected by capacity constraints.

“We want to inform people through our social media accounts and directly with our sales people, so pay close attention to what the province is telling you,” he added.

In a statement to CTV News, the Ontario Ministry of Health says that a maximum of 1,000 people is still the current health guideline, but that the province may consider future changes.

“As we monitor the impact of opening schools and the growing number of people returning to work, our government will assess when it may be safe to consider expanding capacity limits in settings captured by the new vaccination certificate policy. , “said a spokesman for the Ministry of Health wrote.

The provincial government did not specify when these changes may occur, but Sens is still confident it will be before October 14th.

“We work very closely with the management of the province and we are convinced that we will have many fans in this building. We follow what we hear from the province so all the signs look very positive to us,” Hoof said.

Some health experts say the improved ventilation at the Canadian Tire Center combined with a mask policy and vaccine mandate means the events will have a significantly lower risk.

“Of course, if you introduce other things like prolonged closeness, lots of yelling and screaming, you might be surprised if there is an infection of COVID? No, it could be,” said infectious disease specialist and member of Ontario’s vaccination group, Dr. . Isaac Bogoch.

Bogoch says it would be prudent for the province to constantly reconsider capacity limits along with other health measures, but adds that he does not believe it is now time to allow up to 18,000 people in an indoor arena.

“I think if you were to do this right now, the conclusion would be no, let’s keep the fort, let’s continue along this path and steps we are currently taking right now, because we know what will happen if we promise measures with a very contagious Delta variant, ”said Bogoch.

This means that tickets are currently being sold for a game that some fans may not be able to attend. Despite the apparent double standard, Duff says he is not worried about losing his seat.

“No not really, hopefully they have at least some sort of reimbursement policy, but I would be more worried about sitting next to a Leafs fan,” he said.

CTV Ottawa reached out to the Toronto Maple Leafs to compare their ticket sales schedule. However, the team declined to comment without further information on capacity limits from the provincial government.


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