The moment we’ve been waiting for for so long is finally around the corner. The Raptors and Leafs are set to resume home games at Scotiabank Arena starting this October and if all goes according to plan, they’ll be playing for packed crowds.
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) said in a statement that they’re prepared to host games at full capacity this season and are just waiting for the all-clear from the province to do so.
“With a fully vaccinated venue, it is our belief that we can safely host a full capacity event,” said MLSE spokesperson Dave Haggith to the Toronto Star.
“With tickets on sale, we are planning for eventual full capacity in 2021 and our ticketing rollout has built-in flexibility so we are ready for potential scenarios.”
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The Raptors’ preseason games begin on October 4th and the first regular-season game has been set for October 20th against the Washington Wizards. The Leafs will have their first game of the season on October 13th against the Montreal Canadiens.
MLSE was one of the first organizations to announce a proof of vaccination policy for all fans to attend games, before Ontario rolled out its vaccine passport system, which kicks in this Wednesday, September 22nd.
Now that the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto FC are back on home soil, it’s MLSE’s hope that NHL and NBA fans can enjoy the same privileges and cheer for their teams in person.
The Leafs haven’t played for a packed home arena since March 10, 2019. Only a lucky group of 500 frontline workers got to attend a playoff game in Toronto last spring. It’s safe to say that this moment has been a long-time coming and we’re all holding our breath and praying for a normal season this year.