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.
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.