The Vancouver Canucks will have their games at Rogers Arena at 100% capacity once again.
Since it was announced by provincial health in December, the Canucks have had their home games at 50% capacity. There have been multiple Canadian team home games postponed due to the capacity limit and those games will be made up this month or later down the schedule.
On Tuesday morning, it was first reported by Global’s Richard Zussman that British Columbia will be dropping capacity limits for organized events which takes into effect on February 16 at 11:50 PM. That includes restaurants, movie theaters and of course, hockey games.
However, the vaccine cards will still need to be shown prior to entry and masks will still need to be worn when attending a Canucks game. Other provinces such as Alberta and Saskatchewan have lifted the vaccine passport program and Ontario and Manitoba will no longer require vaccine passports starting March 1. As for BC, the vaccine passport program as well as the mask mandate will continue until further notice.
The Canucks’ next home game will be against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. That will mark the first home game with a full crowd since the December 14, 4-3 comeback win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
With the Omicron variant going around in December, the Canucks and other NHL teams were given capacity restrictions. While Vancouver was allowed at 50% capacity, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Winnipeg saw games with no fans or only allowed a few hundred. Calgary and Edmonton were also at 50% but eating and drinking at Flames and Oilers games were banned.
The Canucks sent out a press release regarding the return to full capacity.
"“Today’s news was made possible thanks to everyone’s efforts and commitment in recent weeks and months as we all navigated the latest challenges of the pandemic,” said Michael Doyle, President, Canucks Sports & Entertainment, Business Operations in the press release. “But it’s now an exciting time to look forward again. The announcement today is great news as we head into our next Canucks home game on Saturday, and for our teams and fans in Vancouver and Abbotsford for the rest of the season. The health and safety of our fans, employees, players and community continues to be a top priority as we safely open our doors to full capacity again. We will continue to follow provincial health orders at our games and live events at Rogers Arena and Abbotsford Centre as we welcome fans back to full arenas.”"
Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau spoke about the return of a full crowd after Tuesday’s practice.
“I welcome it,” said Boudreau. “I hope the crowd can be as loud as can be. We want to make it a really difficult place for other teams to have success here.”
Other sports teams and events across BC are allowed to have full capacity including the Vancouver Warriors, Abbotsford Canucks, Vancouver Giants and other BC WHL teams.
This also means the Vancouver Whitecaps will have a full crowd when they have their home opener against New York City FC on March 5. There will also be a full crowd at the Canada Sevens Rugby tournament from April 16 to 17 at BC Place.
Despite being at 50% capacity at last Saturday’s Canucks 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs, it was a great atmosphere. With Rogers Arena being full again, let’s hope the atmosphere gets even louder.