Spectators will not be allowed in arenas across B.C. due to COVID-19. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Spectators will not be allowed in arenas across B.C. due to COVID-19. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Spectators no longer allowed at B.C. indoor sporting facilities

The decision comes after Dr. Bonnie Henry issued caution to sports teams earlier this week

As indoor sports ramps up for the winter, BC Recreation and Parks Association CEO Rebecca Tunnacliffe said spectators won’t be allowed to stay and watch games inside sporting complexes, for now.

“We don’t want to be shut down,” Tunnacliffe said, referring to a recent warning from Dr. Bonnie Henry who issued a caution to sports teams and arenas earlier this week after the Hollyburn Country Club in West Vancouver was shut down indefinitely due to a COVID-19 exposure at its facility.

“She said we need to keep ourselves safe and to focus on players rather than spectators, and so that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Tunnacliffe said the BCRPA has been working together with viaSport, BC Hockey and the Recreation Facilities Association of B.C.

In conjunction with the spectator decision, Tunnacliffe said the organizations are looking at allowing an increase to the maximum group size of participants (players) at sports events.

Regarding spectators in the future, Tunnacliffe said they will meet that complexity when the current rough waters calm. For now she just wants to get players on the ice and in the arenas in a safe and orderly approach.

READ MORE: B.C. sees 1st case of child with rare inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19

Tunnacliffe said in making the spectator decision, a clear definition of ‘patron’ needed to be established.

“[It’s] an individual who attends an event, but does not include event staff, volunteers, vendors, exhibitors, performers, presenters, the members of a team engaged in a sporting event, team managers, coaches, persons such as referees, time keepers or score keepers and staff associated with any of the foregoing,” she said.

While accommodating spectators or patrons for indoor spaces is possible in the future of Phase 3, Tunnacliffe said this will likely not occur for the remainder of this year.

“Municipalities are not ready to manage the added complexity required for moving spectators in and out of indoor space safely,” she said.

“Dr. Bonnie Henry’s recent statements have also encouraged us to focus on participation over spectators. viaSport and BC Hockey support municipalities in their decision to not allow spectators in their indoor facilities at this time.”

She added it will be up to municipalities to decide whether they are ready to accommodate up to 50 outdoor spectators attending or watching a sporting event, and each municipality will be able to decide what their capacity is.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated following a conversation with BCRPA CEO Rebecca Tunnacliffe.



greg.sabatino@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Port of Prince Rupert has experienced another year of increased cargo volumes, shipped through the city, with more than $50 billion in international trade facilitated through the area, the Port Authority announced on Jan. 18. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Port cargo volume growth continues despite pandemic obstacles

Prince Rupert Port authority announces $50 billion in international trade

The IIO B.C. is seeking witnesses to an arrest made in Penticton on Nov. 8, during which the male resisted and sustained a head injury. (File Photo)
The Independent InvestigationsOffice of B.C. released a report on Jan. 18 that a Prince Rupert RCMP officer is cleared of any serious harm wrongdoing from a May 29, 2020 incident. (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigation clears Prince Rupert police officer

IIO investigated May 29 incident where woman fell 25 metres in Prince Rupert

Face masks are required to be worn in all SD 52 common areas such as hallways. School District 52 announced on Jan. 15 three different schools in Prince Rupert all had a member of the school community test positive for COVID-19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
3 Prince Rupert schools have positive COVID-19 case(s)

Letters sent home to families in three Prince Rupert schools announcing COVID-19

Power outages affected thousands of BC Hydro customers in the north on Jan. 14 (File photo) (File photo)
Power outages affect thousands of BC Hydro customers in northern B.C.

Transmission failure led to outages in Prince Rupert and Port Edward

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

The IIO B.C. is seeking witnesses to an arrest made in Penticton on Nov. 8, during which the male resisted and sustained a head injury. (File Photo)
The Independent InvestigationsOffice of B.C. released a report on Jan. 18 that a Prince Rupert RCMP officer is cleared of any serious harm wrongdoing from a May 29, 2020 incident. (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigation clears Prince Rupert police officer

IIO investigated May 29 incident where woman fell 25 metres in Prince Rupert

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read