The Government of Ontario is restoring capacity limits for major sports and entertainment venues in the province, which will affect the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and Senator of Ottawaand the NBA’s Toronto Raptors.
As of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, all Ontario venues with a capacity of 1,000 or more people will be capped at 50% capacity. The measure has been taken in response to the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in the province.
The Leafs, currently on a Western Canada road trip, play off Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, which they share with the Raptors.
The Raptors are scheduled to host the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, followed by the Orlando Magic on Monday.
The Senators, currently on the East Coast roadway, play their home game at the Canadian Tire Center in Kanata, Ontario.
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment said in a statement Wednesday that it will “work to prioritize public health” following these new restrictions. Several Leafs matches had more than 50% of tickets sold, creating a number of problems for the MLSE to deal with.
“Our ticketing team is currently working through the logistics to implement this change and will make details available to all ticket holders within 24 hours,” MLSE said in a statement.
MLSE also announced that they are kicking off an initiative called “Operation Mask Up (or out)” as part of the arena’s enhanced protocols. That program would require all attendees to strictly adhere to enhanced concealment measures, or risk being ejected from the building.
Patrons were required to present proof of two vaccinations, or a negative COVID-19 test, to enter the facility.