Quebec health authorities reject Canadiens’ request to increase fan capacity


Montreal Canadiens fans are shown prior to NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey action against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Montreal, Saturday, May 29, 2021. (Graham Hughes / CP)

Quebec’s public health authorities have rejected the Montreal Canadiens‘ request to increase capacity at the Bell Centre to 10,500 fans for the Stanley Cup Final, per Sportsnet’s Eric Engels.

The Canadiens had asked to boost the allowable capacity for Game 3 of their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning from 3,500 fans to what amounted to a half-full Bell Centre.

Montreal had hosted 3,500 fans for the entirety of its semifinal series vs. the Vegas Golden Knights after initially being granted permission to welcome 2,500 starting with Game 6 of their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As of Tuesday, the Canadiens had yet to have any cases of COVID-19 transmitted inside the arena since reopening on Jan. 3 and believed they could safely bring more people in.

The Canadiens were willing to require fans to show proof of vaccination before entering the arena, while masks and social distancing would’ve remained mandatory.

The Lightning were approved to allow 18,600 fans into Amalie Arena for Wednesday’s Game 2, up from 16,300 for Monday’s Game 1.

With files from Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.


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