The Montreal Canadiens want to seriously boost capacity at the Bell Centre for upcoming Stanley Cup Final games.
The Canadiens are in discussion with the Quebec government and public health, and have requested boosting capacity for home games from 3,500 to 10,500, beginning Friday.
“We’re looking to have 50% of our capacity, so 10,500 people,” Canadiens Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer France Margaret Bélanger said today.
“We will continue to require people to wear masks. We think it’s very important. We’ve never had any COVID cases at the Bell Centre since we resumed our operations on January 3rd.”
Bélanger pointed to the large space that the 21,302-seat Bell Centre offers, as a way to host fans safely. She also noted that the arena would maintain 14 different zones for fans, with separate entrances to divide the audience from start to finish.
“Bell Centre is two million square feet, so we’ve got a lot of space, and we intend to use that space to make sure that [everyone is] distanced from one another with the family bubble, and we’re very confident that we can actually do that.”
The Stanley Cup Final shifts from Tampa to Montreal for Game 3 on Friday, July 2 and Game 4 on Monday, July 5. If necessary, the Bell Centre would also host Game 6 on Friday, July 9.
The team is also planning to host 3,500 fans for a viewing party at the Bell Centre for Game 2, which is being played at Amalie Arena in Tampa.