Ontario expanding capacity limits at professional sports arenas

Sep 24 2021, 6:37 pm

Ontario is increasing its capacity limits at professional sports arenas now that the vaccine passport is in effect.

Up to 30,000 fans will be allowed at Rogers Centre and nearly 10,000 fans will be allowed inside Scotiabank Arena, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore announced Friday afternoon.

Under Ontario’s COVID-19 rules right now, outdoor venues such as the Rogers Centre are only permitted to welcome 15,000 fans or 75% of pre-COVID-19 capacity, whichever is less.

Indoor venues such as Scotiabank Arena are limited to 1,000 fans or 50% of pre-COVID-19 capacity, whichever is less.

The changes will come into effect on Saturday, September 25.

The rules will apply to sporting events, meeting and events spaces, conferences, convention centres, concerts, theatres, cinemas, and racing venues.

Proof of vaccination will be required for outdoor venues with pre-COVID-19 capacities of 20,000 people or more going forward.

“Increasing capacity limits does not mean we can let our guard down,” Moore said. “We must remain cautious and humble in the face of this Delta variant.”

The announcement comes as the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs get ready to start their seasons, and the Toronto Blue Jays eye a potential playoff run.

The Blue Jays made additional tickets available for purchase this week for future games, and said at the time that fans would be refunded if the expanded capacity limits weren’t approved.

Moore said that the Rogers Centre, where the Jays play, will be classed as an outdoor venue whether or not the roof is open.

“It’s a very high air exchange turnover. Even when closed, given amount of air and space, we can continue to consider it an outdoor venue.”

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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