Skip to main content
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber is introduced before an empty Bell Centre for the Canadiens NHL home opener in January 2021.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

For the first time since March 2020, a Canadian NHL team will have paying fans in the arena tonight.

After Quebec loosened COVID-19 restrictions, the Montreal Canadiens will be permitted to have 2,500 fans in the 21,273-seat Bell Centre for Game 6 of their first-round playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

While it is a first for a Canadian NHL team, American rinks have had bigger crowds throughout the playoffs.

Story continues below advertisement

The Canadiens say they gave priority to season-ticket holders, luxury-suite holders, and corporate partners to purchase tickets in pods of two or four.

Ticket buyers are allowed to resell tickets. Prices were high Friday, with the cheapest seats selling for just under $1,500 on Ticketmaster.

All fans must socially distance from those outside their pod and those aged five and up must wear a mask except when eating or drinking. Only bottled water will be sold at concessions. The first 12 rows also will remain empty.

Quebec’s curfew – in place since Jan. 9 – was lifted Friday night. Restaurant patios across the province were also permitted to reopen Friday after being closed in some parts of the province, including Montreal, since Oct. 1.

The new measures come as COVID-19 hospitalizations in Quebec have declined to their lowest level in more than six months.

The then-Montreal Impact (now CF Montreal) of Major League Soccer had the first crowd in Canada at a pro sporting event during the pandemic when they were permitted to allow 250 fans to a game at their outdoor stadium last summer.

Some junior hockey teams also have been allowed to have limited crowds. The Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League had a maximum attendance of 1,900 for games this season, the biggest crowds among the six Maritime teams in that circuit.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies