Ontario CFL teams part of proposal for stadium capacity increase in reopening stages

The three CFL teams in Ontario have joined together with the Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC, and Blue Jays in hopes of increasing fan attendance numbers as the province works to reopen.

According to TSN reporter Dave Naylor: A committee representing 7 Ontario pro teams (MLSE’s 4, Jays, Ticats, Redblacks), submitted proposal last week seeking up to 35 % of stadium capacity open for Ontario’s stage 2 reopening and up to 100 % for stage 3. Stage 2 could be early as July 2. Stage 3 as early as July 23rd.

I’m led to believe there are no vaccine requirements in the proposal to open-up pro sports facilities to fans in Ontario’s stage 2 and stage 3 reopenings, submitted by committee representing 7 pro franchises.

Committee was put together by Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s minister of Heritage, Sport and Tourism. And fronted by Nick Eaves, MLSE’s chief venues and operations officer.

Based on current health indicators, Ontario expects to enter step one Friday, June 11. For step one to begin, 60 percent of adults must have one dose of the vaccine. Step two requires 70 percent of adults having one dose and 20 percent being fully vaccinated. Ideally for step three, 80 percent of adults have one dose and 25 percent are fully vaccinated.

The province will remain at each step for at least 21 days to evaluate impacts on public health and health system indicators. If all goes according to plan, step two could be reached in early July, with the third and final step potentially coming in August. That could end up timing out perfectly with the three-down league’s targeted date of August 5.

The CFL delayed its start date in April with a 14-game schedule targeted to kick-off on August 5, culminating in a currently planned December 12 Grey Cup. For the timeline to be met, the league requires ‘a significant number of fans’ to be allowed in stadiums by municipal, provincial, and federal governments.

The league and players’ union began meetings during the second week of February with a focus on playing football this year. The two sides have submitted return to play health and safety plans to various levels of government in Canada and are working to finalize the details in hopes of getting the final stamp from the nation’s capital.