The Edmonton Oilers want to have fans at Rogers Place to take in live hockey in the near future.
If the Oilers Entertainment Group is successful and gains approval from Alberta Health Services, it would be a first for people attending sporting events in Canada since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hearing from multiple sources that OEG is putting forth a 50-page proposal to AHS to allow a limited number of fans to attend games. The hope is to have people in the building as early as April – if & when the province is able to get to Step 3 of its plan to move forward.
Proper protocol would be followed (social distancing, masks, etc.) with OEG wanting to provide AHS with a “testing ground” for patrons at live events again in the province. The belief among some at OEG is that there is a strong chance this happens.
If this does come to fruition, frontline workers would be honoured, celebrated and in attendance at the first game back and then in subsequent games the rest of the season via ceremonial puck drops, etc. as well.
The precedent for fans could be set by the Oilers which would theoretically lead to the CFL following the health and safety protocols at its stadiums while putting bums in seats.
The prevailing thought around the league is the CFL’s main source of revenue needs to return in order for players to take the field and football to be played in 2021.
Commissioner Randy Ambrosie has stated his league is looking at “every single scenario” and a new one may just have emerged which would help the CFL return to play.