Fans no longer allowed at Lightning, Raptors games due to COVID-19 spike

Amalie Arena. (@TBLightning)

Amalie Arena, the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning and temporary host to the Toronto Raptors, will no longer allow fans to attend the teams' games due to a recent spike in local COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the venue announced Saturday.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning are slated to hold their season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks at home on Wednesday.

The organization had previously been planning to admit about 3,800 fans to its games.

A limited number of fans had previously been allowed to attend Raptors games with socially distant seating.

Amalie Arena will remain closed to fans through at least Feb. 5 before the local health situation is reassessed.

"We have worked tirelessly, putting every safety measure possible in place at Amalie Arena. However, as we review current data and COVID-19 modelling for the next few weeks in the Tampa Bay area, we do not believe it is prudent to admit fans inside the arena at this time," said Steve Griggs, CEO for Vinik Sports Group and the Lightning, said in a press release.

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