Fans will be allowed in Eastlink Centre when the Charlottetown Islanders play home games during the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season.
That season starts for the Islanders Friday, but it begins with a long road trip. The Islanders play their first home game Oct. 23. The Islanders will play only teams from within the Atlantic bubble.
"Obviously the hockey's going to be the same, but it's the whole getting to your seat and what to do while you're in it that's going to be a little changed this year," Charlottetown Islanders president Craig Foster told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.
The Islanders received clearance from the P.E.I. Chief Public Health Office on Wednesday to allow fans in the stands.
Numbers will be limited, because the team will be working within the physical distancing guidelines that all venues must, keeping bubbles of people at least two metres apart. That will mean, for example, that every other row will be empty, as well as all the aisle seats.
Foster said the team is still working on placing people, and he doesn't know how many they will be able to squeeze in. He does know, however, that with all the team's revenue coming from ticket sales there will be a big financial cost.
"The last couple of years we averaged over 2,700 people a game. The number's going to be less than half of that," said Foster.
Because of the limited numbers and the difficulty of seating people, fans who want to attend will have to buy season tickets.
Food and drink delivery
Once at the game, fans will have to remain seated, with trips to the washrooms the only exception. The concession stands will be closed, but food and drink will still be available.
"With the power of your cellphone nowadays, we're going to be offering in-seat ordering for any of our bar service, Tim Hortons concessions," said Foster.
"So you're going to be able to enjoy all those things and enjoy them in your seat."
In an effort to reach out to the community, the team will be showing more games (15) on Eastlink TV. Saturday games will be on Ocean 100.
"We're really trying to get our brand out there for people that aren't able to get into the rink like they used to," said Foster.
Sales of season tickets may reopen next week, depending on space available.
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