Jets change course after new provincial rules, reduce home capacity to 50 per cent

Winnipeg Jets players and fans celebrate Mark Scheifele’s (55) game winning goal against the Los Angeles Kings during overtime NHL action in Winnipeg on Saturday, November 13, 2021. (John Woods/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Winnipeg Jets home games played at the Canada Life Centre will be limited to 50 per cent capacity to align with a new provincial public health mandate, which came into effect as a means of stemming the escalating spread of COVID-19, the team announced Friday.

The announcement marks a quick change in direction for the team, which said on Thursday it intended to maintain 100 per cent capacity, serving as yet another reminder of just how fast policies can shift in the COVID era.

The team says the current plan for the policy is for the reduction to be in effect between Dec. 21 and Jan. 11. That timeline leaves two games, Friday night against the Washington Capitals and Sunday afternoon against the St. Louis Blues, as full-capacity games.

The Jets’ previous plan for full-capacity games hinged on actively encouraging mask use with what the organization called “stringent enforcement” for those who do not comply with the rules, though did not detail what those punishments may be.

Guests attending events at the Canada Life Centre and the Burton Cummings Theatre have been required to wear a mask at all times, according to the venues’ policies, including during pauses between eating and drinking.

On Friday, the province of Manitoba reported 239 new COVID-19 cases, according to publicly available data. The total marked a slight increase from the 218 reported Thursday, a figure that was the highest daily count in six months. The previous high for the province came on June 12, when it recorded 294 cases.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.