Ontario changes regulations to allow 9,500 fans in Maple Leafs preseason game at Scotiabank Arena, sources say

The Ontario government is changing regulations that will allow the Maple Leafs to open their preseason in front of a half-full Scotiabank Arena this weekend, according to sources.

Approximately 9,500 fans will be able to participate in Saturday night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Provincial regulations had previously limited the Maple Leafs, Raptors and Ottawa Senators to a maximum of 1,000 fans per event. That number is increasing to 50 percent of build capacity, with a view to further increasing the number of fans over time if things progress well.

The Leafs and Raptors have already announced a policy that requires fans who attend this season’s games to be vaccinated. Those with a verified medical exemption must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

News of fans returning to the games will sound good inside the Maple Leafs locker room. They finished the 2019-20 season in a bubble and then played another 56 regular-season games last year inside empty arenas.

“To have that again, I think, is going to be extraordinary and very special,” captain John Tavares said Wednesday when training ground opened. “I’ve really missed it.”

“It’s amazing to think of the fans. Whatever the number, we are excited, “added goalkeeper Jack Campbell. “Get the excitement in the building. You know that someone scores a great goal, everyone is going crazy, there is nothing like it. “

The Leafs last played in front of a sold-out building on March 10, 2020, drawing 19,124 fans at Scotiabank Arena for a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning two days before the NHL stopped. its season due to the pandemic.

They were allowed to have 550 vaccinated healthcare workers in the bottom bowl for Game 7 of their first-round series against Montreal on May 31.

The Leafs had 550 front-line workers as the first fans allowed at Scotiabank Arena in more than a year for Game 7 of the NHL playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens on May 31.
Chris Johnston is a Toronto-based journalist with a new gaming company. His work will be seen on the new gaming company’s website and app, as well as the Toronto Star. Follow him on Twitter: @reporterchris

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