Habs ask government to increase attendance for home games at Bell centre

Habs ask government to increase attendance

In the ongoing saga of the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals, the issue of increasing attendance for games at the Bell Centre has not gone away. In fact, representatives of the Montreal Canadiens has requested to the Quebec Ministry of Health if they could get their permission to increase fan attendance from 3,500 spectators to 10,500, which represents 50% of the arena’s total capacity.

What is full capacity of the bell centre?

While the Centre Bell can seat over 21,000 fans for an NHL hockey game or a sports event full capacity for a major concert is approximately 15,000 seats.

North Division Championship
Habs ask government to increase attendance

According to a report by CBC News, the team and the government are in the midst of discussions regarding the request. The Canadiens organization hopes to receive a final answer from them as soon as possible, so that the increase can be implemented in time for game 3, which takes place this Friday night at the Bell Centre against the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

France Margaret Belanger, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for the Canadiens, told a group of reporters that the team’s plan for the proposed attendance increase would entail fans sitting in 14 sections of the arena in groups of several hundred people per section, in which separate entrances and food service facilities would be used. And of course, wearing a mask would be strictly mandatory.

“The Bell Centre is two million square feet, so we got a lot of space,” she said. “And we intend to use that space to make sure that all these guys are distanced from one another.”

However, some members of Montreal’s medical community are weary of allowing more fans to attend games 3 and 4 in person. Dr. Donald Vinh, an infectious disease specialist at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), told CBC News about his concerns regarding this issue, and that such a decision of this nature would be guided more by sports passion, rather than science.

“If the Montreal Canadiens weren’t in the playoffs, would we be allowing this to occur? I’m not sure,” said Dr. Vinh. He also added that if more fans are allowed to attend, then making proof of vaccination a requirement would be a sensible move.

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