This week in Surrey, BC Lions players practised for their first home game in nearly two years.
The CFL team returns to BC Place Stadium Thursday night (Aug. 19) to battle the recently re-branded Edmonton franchise, the Elks.
After 656 days away from home, the Lions will be involved in the first live sporting event in Vancouver to include fan attendance since March 2020.
In soggy conditions Monday (Aug. 16), players did their drills on the turf adjacent to the team’s usual practise field, at Tom Binnie Park in Whalley.
“I’m excited for our football team to be back in front of our great fans,” said Lions head coach Rick Campbell.
“We get great support from throughout the province and I know many of them have been waiting with anticipation to get back into BC Place. We look forward to getting a big boost in this huge game.”
Thursday at BC Place, the band Chilliwack will perform at halftime.
Fans attending the game can also take advantage of a vaccine clinic at Terry Fox Plaza from 4 to 4:30 p.m., courtesy Vancouver Coastal Health.
“We encourage all British Columbians to take the opportunity to get vaccinated,” says a “Know Before You Go” post on the team’s website. “Proof of vaccinations will not be required for ticket purchasers on August 19th.”
B.C.’s “Restart” plan allows 50 per cent of the capacity of seats sold, which allows for 12,550 fans in BC Place for the Lions game.
“Social distancing will not be required, however, fans will be encouraged to take their seats and not mingle on the concourse as the capacity of the concourse is more limited,” the web post says.
For all games at BC Place this season, fans must access digital tickets using the My Lions account, as part of a touch-free entry process.
Concessions offer cashless payments only (debit, credit OK).
As well, in order to ensure “a safer and faster entry through the gates this season,” BC Place has instituted a new clear bag policy for 2021. Guests may enter with one clear plastic bag no larger than 12” X 12” X 6.” Bag check service is available at both Gate C and G.