Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has signed off on amended quarantine proposal that could pave the way for the NHL to choose Vancouver as a hub city.
The plan calls for modified restrictions that would allow an entire NHL team to be treated as a “family entity” or “bubble,” according to Premier John Horgan.
“Individuals within an organization would stay together in one hotel. They would travel to Rogers Arena together in private transportation,” said Horgan. “No interaction with the public would take place for the 14 day quarantine period.”
According to Horgan, NHL clubs would be responsible for their own COVID-19 testing.
The mandatory 14-day quarantine period required by those travelling across borders into B.C. had been a sticking point with the NHL.
Last month Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league would resume its 2019-20 season at an undetermined date, using two hub cities — one for Western Conference teams and one in the Eastern Conference — to stage multiple games.
Ten locations made the hub city short list, including Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto.
Horgan said the fact that B.C. has done a good job fighting the COVID-19 outbreak should give a boost to the province’s chances and give comfort the league and players.
“I really think that British Columbia has a great deal to offer the NHL, particularly the players. If you are bringing your family to somewhere in North America for the summer months to spend time while you played hockey, I can’t think of a better place than British Columbia,” he said.
Horgan said he has been communicating with the NHL, the National Hockey Leaque Players’ Association and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the plan.
He said being chosen as an NHL hub city would be a big boost to the province’s tourism and service sector.