The Lloydminster Bobcats have begun the process of inviting fans back in to watch them play, while being cautious about COVID-19 transmission.
Starting at 7:00 PM on September 23rd, some fans will be invited to the Kitscoty Arena to watch the team play. This first game will be limited to 100 fans, while the team continues to monitor gathering limits under Alberta Health Services’ guidelines.
Bobcats Head Coach and GM Nigel Dube explains that they will be looking to expand on these limits, but in the meantime, people visiting will have to let them know in advance.
“With everything we’re doing right now, it’s all reserve-before. So their spot will have to be reserved before they go out there. The first game will be just for our season ticket holders and our billets, and then we’ll be announcing more days next week.”
Practices and games in Kitscoty will involve the team cohort only. People can reserve their spot by emailing the team, and from there will have to wear masks at all times during the games. There will also be a record written of attendees for contact tracing.
Dube also explains that the choice to play in the Kitscoty Arena came as a result of them wanting to be under AHS’ guidelines for gathering. In Kitscoty, they would be allowed up to 100 fans, he says, whereas, with the size of the space at the Centennial Civic Centre, for example, they would only be allowed 60 people total, or 30 per side according to Saskatchewan Health Authority rules.
Still, Dube says having the team play in front of a crowd is something that’s important to the team, and the players on it. They’ll also be showcasing their new players and jerseys.
“Our fanbase and our billets and everyone that comes out to our games is a huge support to our guys, and our guys love playing in front of them. So it’ll give them that game setting with having some people in the stands, and it adds to the atmosphere.”
The team encourages fans to keep an eye on their social media for more announcements about the team and fan attendance.