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

.
ON COOKING: Chef offers a new take on pumpkin spice

Pumpkin puree can be used to make a salad dressing

Tristan Kennedy, and his mom Naya, proudly displaying their joke book - A Reason to Smile. (Special to THE NEWS)
Pitt Meadows boy turns funny quarantine pastime into joke book

Tristan Kennedy, 5, placed wisecrack signs at the end of his driveway for 155 straight days

The Citizen of the Year awards were held on Saturday, as a virtual event.
Citizens of the year for Maple Ridge named

Maple Ridge Community Foundation holds annual awards night

Phase three of Onni’s Golden Ears Business Park is before council Tuesday.
New look for Golden Ears Business Park in Pitt Meadows

Zoom webinar allows public to share thoughts with council on Tuesday

Jason Nagy, centre, and his foster parents Peggy and Robert Maikawa. (Jason Nagy/Special to The News)
Maple Ridge volunteer reunites with foster parents after three decades

Discovered his name on a list of volunteers for the B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

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

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

Most Read