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

DriveBC webcam shot of Highway 20 near Anahim Lake Friday, Oct. 23 at 11:30 a.m. shows snow-covered roads. A travel advisory is in effect. (DriveBC webcam image)
Travel advisory in effect for Highway 20 from Williams Lake west to Firvale

Winter driving conditions continue to have an impact

Below seasonal temperatures are expected throughout much of the province (file photo)
Below seasonal temperatures, snow in the forecast for Bella Coola

More early season snowfall expected today as Arctic air arrives

Marlene King and her granddaughter KK with the bench she installed in memory of her late husband, artist Marven Tallio (Caitlin Thompson photo).
New downtown bench honours late Nuxalk artist

Renowned Nuxalk artist Marven Tallio passed away in 2018

BC Liberal Party candidate for the North Coast Roy Jones Jr. will hold virtual face-to-face meetings for North Coast communities on Oct. 18. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
BC Liberal Candidate Roy Jones Jr, will meet constituents virtually

Face to face conversations will be held on Oct. 18 for North Coast communities

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read