Canucks get clearance to host games with full capacity crowds

Oct 19 2021, 8:55 pm

The Vancouver Canucks will be permitted to play in front of sold out crowds at Rogers Arena this season.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announced this afternoon that she is making changes to the provincial health order, lifting capacity limits at many organized events and gatherings — including indoor sporting events.

This will apply to most of British Columbia, but not in places with regional health restrictions due to low vaccination and high transmission rates, such as Northern Health, Interior Health, and Fraser East.

The change starts on Monday, October 25, one day after the full vaccine requirement comes into effect in BC. The move comes just in time for the Vancouver Canucks, who have their home opener scheduled for Tuesday, October 26 — their first time hosting fans for a regular season game since March 10, 2020.

“Great news today from the Provincial Health Officer and the Province of BC,” said Michael Doyle, President, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Business Operations. “As last season reminded us, there’s nothing like the energy and excitement that fans bring to Canucks games and live events. We’re thrilled to again be able to operate at full capacity at Rogers Arena. The Province of BC and our local health authorities have been strong partners through the pandemic, and we’ll continue to follow their vaccination guidelines to maintain a safe environment for everyone.

“We have a very special night planned for the Canucks’ home opener on October 26. It will have been nearly 600 days since our last game with a full arena, and the players, coaches and everyone at Canucks Sports and Entertainment can’t wait to welcome our passionate fans and loyal Season Ticket Members back.”

The Canucks, as well as other teams like the Vancouver Whitecaps and BC Lions, were previously permitted to have up to 50% capacity for games.

Dr. Henry also said the order would be lifted for concerts, movie theatres, dance, symphony events, weddings, funerals, and parties.

“We’re hoping to leverage the benefits of the vaccine card, and this is an important first step of that,” said Dr. Henry. “We’ll be monitoring carefully and looking at whether we can take away additional restrictions, depending on how things evolve over the next few weeks.”

Anticipating this decision, the Canucks opted to sell tickets assuming full capacity at Rogers Arena. Had the province chosen not to lift capacity restrictions, the team would have had to offer refunds and credits for tens of thousands of invalid tickets.

The Canucks are the last major pro team in North America to get approval to play in front of full capacity crowds. No fanbase in Canada or the United States will have waited longer to see their team play regular season games than Canucks fans when their team steps onto the ice for Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

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