The Montreal Canadiens organization is asking the provincial government to allow thousands of more fans into the Bell Centre for the upcoming Stanley Cup final games.
France Margaret Bélanger, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for the organization, said Tuesday that it requested up to 10,500 spectators — 50 per cent capacity — instead of the 3,500 people that are currently permitted under the province’s current COVID-19 public health regulations.
Bélanger told reporters discussions with the Quebec government began on Friday, but the team has not yet received an answer.
The Bell Centre is able to safely accommodate a larger audience, Bélanger said, adding fans have to wear their masks and would be separated into 14 zones with separate entrances.
With the first home game in the Canadiens Stanley Cup final series against the Tampa Bay Lightning scheduled for Friday, the team hopes to get an answer Tuesday, since additional tickets are expected to go fast.
“We are on standby for a response from the government,” she said.
The team plans to show away games to 3,500 fans on the large screen inside the arena starting Wednesday.
Large groups of fans have gathered outside the arena during both home and away games to watch on screens inside nearby restaurants.
–with files from the Canadian Press