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

Carys Howland, 10, and her sister Julian, 6, find a quiet spot to read the books they picked up at the Community Arts Council of the Alberni Valley’s book sale at Echo Centre in 2019. (SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Giant book sale cancelled for 2020

Book sale is an annual fundraiser for Port Alberni’s Community Arts Council

Staff and board members from Port Alberni Family Guidance Association, from left, Jennifer Minard, Craig Summers, Laurel Lenormand, Melanie Stevenson, Brenda Kraneveldt, Nancy Anslow-Tooke and Doreen Grant, are celebrating the association’s 50th anniversary Oct. 24, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni Family Guidance turns 50

Staff members come up with ‘swag day’ to celebrate on Oct. 24

The First Nations language pole project, underway in Port Alberni, has been stalled due to lack of funding. Artist Tim Paul can occasionally be seen working on the project behind a fence at the Maritime Discovery Centre. (JERRY FEVENS PHOTO/ Special to the News)
Port Alberni’s First Nations language pole suffers another setback

First Nations Education Foundation still looking for funding for a final push

A screenshot from the virtual all-candidates meeting on Monday, Oct. 19 hosted by the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce. (SCREENSHOT)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Mid Island-Pacific Rim candidates weigh in on forestry, tourism, LNG

For the first time ever, Alberni Valley Chamber hosted a virtual all-candidates’ meeting

NIC and other schools will provide information on program pathways, partnership agreements and tips for transfer students. File photo
Vancouver Island colleges, universities host virtual tours

The tour includes representatives from North Island College

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The end of double cupping: Tim Hortons ditches two cups in favour of one with sleeve

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer doctor Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s chief public health doctor says in the age of social media, fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading faster than the virus itself. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
VIDEO: Fake news creates serious issues for battling pandemic, chief public health doc says

Both Tam and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to be responsible about the information they share

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Michael Leighton, who is wanted on 11 warrants on Vancouver Island and is a suspect in a recent break, enter and theft in Nanaimo. (Photos submitted)
RCMP looking for break-and-enter suspect with 11 warrants on the Island

Nanaimo RCMP say Michael Leighton a suspect in theft of pistol and $40,000 worth of coins

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Most Read