The NHL anticipates 30 of its 32 arenas will open at 100% capacity for the 2021-22 season, according to a memo circulated to teams this week.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Montreal Canadiens are expected to open at 33% capacity, or around 7,500 fans. The Vancouver Canucks will open at less than capacity, too. While the percentage has yet to be determined, the NHL initially estimated it could be at 50%.
The NHL anticipates the Toronto Maple Leafs will be at full capacity this season. Currently, the team is only allowed 9,500 fans (50%) at Scotiabank Arena for its preseason game against Ottawa this weekend, according to the Toronto Star.
The memo also broke down the current vaccine and testing mandates for fans entering NHL arenas this season. As of this week, 10 of the league’s 32 arenas will only allow vaccinated fans to attend games: The Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks, Seattle Kraken, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets.
Eight teams will allow either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test: The Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues.
The memo lists 14 teams that don’t require a vaccination or negative test for fans to attend games, but some of those teams have yet to firm up their COVID policies.
According to the memo, 21 teams are currently requiring masks for all fans in their arenas. The Ducks are only requiring masks for unvaccinated fans.
There are 25 teams currently requiring masks for children 12 and under. The Ducks, Kings, Islanders and Rangers are requiring a mask and a negative COVID test for those young fans; the Predators are requiring a mask or a negative test.
There are 14 teams that will use a physical card for proof of vaccination; eight teams that plan on using a mobile app; and four teams that are planning on using the Clear biometric ID.