The Edmonton arena where a large number of NHL games will be played when the season resumes was damaged by a summer storm that moved into the city late Thursday afternoon.
“A significant storm came through Edmonton earlier this evening,” The Oilers Entertainment Group said in a statement issued Thursday evening. “As a result, Rogers Place has suffered some water damage to the terminus of Ford Hall, along with some smaller leaks in other parts of the building.
OEG, which owns the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers hockey club, also operates Rogers Place but the 18,500-seat hockey arena is owned by the City of Edmonton.
The arena opened to the public in 2016.
Earlier this month, Edmonton and Toronto were selected as hub cities for the NHL when the leagues resumes its season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The NHL is hoping to have all 24 teams involved in its revised playoff format in the two hub cities by July 26 with games scheduled to be played soon after.
Heavy rain started to fall in Edmonton on Thursday afternoon and flooded at least one underpass on Whitemud Drive, a busy freeway in the city.
Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for various parts of central Alberta on Thursday, including for Alberta’s capital. A tornado watch was even issued by Environment Canada for some areas south of the city. The watch was lifted later in the evening.
–With files from The Canadian Press