As part of its new COVID-19 health and safety protocols, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) has announced patrons and staff will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result in order to access any of its properties.
“As an organization that hosts more than four million fans per year, at hundreds of events in multiple venues, MLSE is proud to serve as a central gathering place in Toronto and recognizes its responsibility to provide attendees with a safe and secure environment,” a statement issued by the organization Tuesday afternoon said.
“We believe these health and safety protocols are the key to allowing our communities and businesses to reopen safely, to permit full capacity events, and to protect against further lockdowns.”
MLSE said the policy would come into effect as of mid-September, but that additional details and implementation dates would be unveiled “in the coming weeks.”
The company owns outright or has ownership stakes in several teams such as the Toronto Raptors, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto FC, the Toronto Argonauts and the Toronto Marlies as well as a number of venues, including Scotiabank Arena, BMO Field, Coca-Cola Coliseum, the Ford Performance Centre, the OVO Athletic Centre and e11even restaurant.
Ontario is currently under Step 3 of the provincial government’s reopening plan and under Step 3 guidelines, masks and face coverings will remain in place in indoor public settings throughout Step 3 as will physical distancing requirements. MLSE didn’t immediately address what other health measures would be in place for facilities like Scotiabank Arena.
The news came on the same day the Ontario government announced it would be requiring COVID-19 vaccination policies for several high-risk settings.
Institutions in Toronto such as Seneca College have unveiled plans to require people to have COVID-19 vaccines if attending facilities in-person. However, other signature tourism attraction and sports venues haven’t publicly announced a similar policy like MLSE’s.
Outside of Ontario, True North Sports and Entertainment, which owns venues in Manitoba such as where the Winnipeg Jets play, recently announced it would be requiring people to show proof of vaccination to enter its facilities.