Sports

Flames, Stampeders home games affected by Calgary's large events ban

Flames and Stampeders home games were both included in the city of Calgary's large events ban, mayor Naheed Nenshi announced on Friday. The edict runs through June 30 and was handed down because of health concerns over COVID-19.

Restriction runs until June 30, says mayor Naheed Nenshi

The Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, is seen on March 12. On Friday, the city announced it was cancelling all major events through June 30, a decision that directly impacts the Flames and the CFL's Stampeders. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Flames and Stampeders home games were both included in the city of Calgary's large events ban, mayor Naheed Nenshi announced on Friday.

The edict runs through June 30 and was handed down because of health concerns over COVID-19.

Should the NHL or CFL return before the ban ends, Nenshi said home games in Calgary would not be permitted.

The Calgary Stampede is scheduled to begin July 3 and Nenshi said the event board is taking the decision to move forward with it "extremely seriously."


 

However, Nenshi also said the ban could be extended, which would put the Stampede in further doubt.

Earlier this week, Toronto mayor John Tory announced a city-wide ban on large events, but professional sports were not included within that ruling.

Eighteen Albertans had died and 1,075 people had been infected in the province as of Friday.

"Even if before the end of June we are in a situation where we think we've seen the other side of the mountain, even if we're at a place where the number of cases are coming down, I'm no epidemiologist, but I don't think it's wise to say 'hey everybody, let's have seventeen, twenty or thirty-five thousand people all in one space,"' Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.

The NHL suspended operations March 12 with 189 regular-season games remaining. Calgary's ban extends into the third week of the scheduled CFL season.

The CFL has already postponed the beginning of training camp. On Monday, commissioner Randy Ambrosie told CBC Sports the league wants to keep all options available.

"Things are changing so quickly. We're not installing an artificial timetable. We're looking at all the components of what would go into a training camp and what are the compressed scenarios looking like. Talking about various season scenarios. We just don't know enough to make an informed decision just yet," Ambrosie said.

The commissioner said a lost season would be "devastating financially" to the league. But he also added that he believes football will be played this year.

"I'm not indulging in the doomsday scenarios yet."

With files from Devin Heroux and The Canadian Press

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