The five Canadian provinces in the National Hockey League have signed off on allowing their respective teams to travel throughout Canada therefore enabling the magical words of “game on”. With each provincial government enforcing different levels of the words “lock down”, no fans will be allowed in attendance…for now. But what about the month of May, will fans be allowed to attend games by then?
I ask not as a hockey fan but as a Canadian Premier League (CPL), Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) and Canadian Football League (CFL) fan. FC Edmonton’s inaugural game in the CPL was Saturday May 4th, 2019 while the Edmonton Stingers inaugural game was six days later. After spending 2020 in a bubble, it is fair to presume both the CPL and CEBL would like to go back to their original plans of a May start. We already know the Green and Gold will be playing on May 29th hosting the Calgary Stampeders.
There are a thousand ways for this discussion to go sideways including the fact I’m mixing outdoor and indoor sports but for simplicity sake, please let’s agree to disagree and daydream that Clubs will be held to 20% capacity for their live crowd to start their 2021 campaigns. 20% is the number the Miami Dolphins of the NFL used noting, as all other NFL teams who allowed fans at the beginning the 2020 season, “season ticket holders first”.
- The Green and Gold averaged 29, 341 fans during the regular season in 2019. 20% of Commonwealth Stadium’s capacity (60,081) is 12,016.
- The Edmonton Stingers maximum capacity at “The Hive” is 4,000. That leaves only 800 seats available for basketball fans to see the defending CEBL champions.
- FC Edmonton play out of Clarke Stadium which holds a capacity of 5,100. For a Club that averaged 2,936 fans in 2019, only 1,020 would be permitted in 2021.
Without giving an estimate on how many season ticket holders each Club has, a fair statement seems to be that each listed team can hit their respective 20% plateau between season seats and limited individual game sales.
I have purchased season seats to all three of these teams to try to ensure my spot at their home games. Here is hoping the May calendar gets filled with sporting events.