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

Environment Canada has issued a snow warning for the Kootenays on Friday. File photo
Environment Canada issues snow warning for Friday

Two-to-10 centimetres is expected to fall

Brody Peterson told The Gazette he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Homeowner intends to dispute COVID tickets after backyard party near Grand Forks

Brody Peterson said bands that played at his home shut down before the 11 o’clock cut off

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
Trail Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Kootenay West Candidates (L to R) Glen Byle (Conservative), Katrine Conroy (NDP), Andrew Duncan (Green), Corbin Kelley (Liberal), Fletcher Quince (Independent, Ed Varney (Independent).
Q&A with Kootenay West candidates: Opioid crisis

Seventh in a series of Q&As with the candidates, look for a new set each morning.

Touchstones Museum has opened up Nelson’s Cold War bunker to the public. The unique exhibit includes artifacts from the 1950s and 60s. Photo: Tyler Harper
Take cover! Cold War bunker opens to public in Nelson

The shelter was built in 1964 in case of nuclear fallout

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Jack Vellutini, 100, is still making sweet music. Photo: Submitted
Music stirs memories as Trail serenader nears 101st birthday

Jack Vellutini gave his brass instruments to Trail up-and-comers so the legacy of music can live on

BC ELECTION
B.C. political leaders reflect on rural health care as election looms

NDP leader John Horgan, BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson talk health care priorities in the Kootenays

Most Read