Scotties Tournament of Hearts ticket sales halted due to COVID-19 restrictions

December 16, 2021
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Ticket sales for the 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Thunder Bay, Ont., have been suspended until further notice after Wednesday’s announcement by the Ontario government restricting venues to 50 per cent capacity for events larger than 1000.

Tournament officials made the call Thursday for the event scheduled for Jan. 28 to Feb. 6 at Fort William Gardens in the northwestern Ontario city.

“Curling Canada will continue to consult with local, regional and national health authorities to ensure the safest possible surroundings for athletes, volunteers, workers and fans in attendance at the Scotties,” reads a media release from Curling Canada.

Fans with tickets are asked to remain patient until further information is available. Curling Canada said it will provide follow-up details to all ticket holders in January.

The Fort William Gardens arena in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Capacity limits are being tightened to 50 per cent for indoor venues that would normally hold 1,000 people or more. The restrictions come into effect Saturday at 12:01 a.m. ET.

The move from the province comes as the Omicron variant becomes more prevalent. 

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore has said the variant will become dominant soon, and all cases should be treated as Omicron going forward. A new report from Public Health Ontario found that an estimated 80 per cent of all new cases on Dec. 13 were caused by Omicron. 

Ticket sales also suspended at auditorium in Thunder Bay, Ont.

The Thunder Bay Community Auditorium has also suspended ticket sales and is looking for answers as new capacity restrictions come into effect. General Manager Bob Halvorsen said too much is unknown at this point to continue sales.

“We’ve had two years of this where we’ve had shows on sale, only to be cancelled. And you know, unfortunately, history does repeat itself sometimes, and we’re just being a little more cautious maybe than in the past,” he said.

“We’re just not putting things on sale and just to refund them. We don’t think it’s fair to take people’s money just to give it back, you know, a month later,” he continued. 

Halvorsen said the biggest unknown that will dictate the auditorium’s next move is the question of social distancing among seats. 

“One of the issues we have is some of these shows are shows that are being brought in by other people. They’re renting the building, where we really don’t have the say other than we can tell them that they’re over capacity and it would be up to them to decide what they want to do,” he explained.

Halvorsen added some shows in 2022 have already sold past 1000 seats, and it’s unclear what will be done if capacity limits are still reduced by the time the show dates roll around. 

“I really don’t know. You know, I’ve been here for 36 years and I’ve never seen anything like this. So this is all new and we’re just living in uncharted territory here, unfortunately,” he said.

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