Quebec Health Authorities reject Canadiens bid to increase fan attendance at Bell Centre

Denied! Sorry Habs fans, but no luck increasing capacity for the Final!

Before the Montreal Canadiens fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, they were handed an off-ice defeat earlier in the day.

Quebec Public Health authorities turned down a request from the team to allow more fans into Bell Centre when the final series shifts to Montreal on Friday.

The team wanted to raise the total from the pandemic-induced limit of 3,500 fans allowed to 10,500, which would be about half-capacity for the arena.

“I know they’d love to be in the building, but it’s just not the case in the world we’re living in right now,” the Canadiens’ Nick Suzuki said after Wednesday night’s game when asked about only 3,500 fans being allowed to watch the next two games at the Bell Centre. “But we love playing in front of our fans. We feel the energy out in the streets. It’s been a lot of fun to play back at the Bell Centre and we know the 3,500 that will be there will be cheering us on and the rest will be supporting us.”

Montreal Gazette

Quebec Health Authorities denies Canadiens bid

“The Quebec Public Health authorities will not allow the Canadiens to have more fans in the Bell Centre,” the team said via its Twitter account.

Among factors in the decision to turn down the team’s proposal was opening the door to more requests to violate public health orders, said Dr. Richard Masse, a strategic medical adviser for Quebec public health.

“This is why when we come up with measures, we want to be sure that these measures can be applied elsewhere,” Masse said, according to CBC News in Canada.

The Lightning were able to allow 18,600 fans into Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., for Wednesday’s game, after 16,300 were allowed for Game 1 on Monday.
Tampa Bay leads the series 2-0.

–Field Level Media