‘It’s like winning the lottery’: Kitchener Rangers excited to open Aud at full capacity
As of Saturday, cinemas, theatres, concert and spectator sports venues, as well as car and horse racing tracks are allowed to open at full capacity in Ontario.
The latest announcement means all 7,777 seats can now be filled inside the Kitchener Auditorium.
During Friday’s season opener, Joe Birch, Kitchener Rangers chief operating officer and governor said it’s hard to put his excitement into words.
“It’s like winning the lottery, Christmas has come early, I don't know which clichés to use, but it's really exciting. It's incredibly positive for everybody around the organization,” Birch said.
The province says there have been few outbreaks in the selected settings and most other public health measures such as masks remain in place.
“Fans will still have the same expectation of showing proof of double vaccination, masks,” Birch said.
The Rangers’ next home game is on Friday, Oct. 15 against Sarnia.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS EXCLUDED
Restaurants and bars will still need to follow capacity limits, as rules remain in place in gyms and other places requiring proof of vaccination as well.
Managers at Barley Works in Waterloo say they find the decision confusing.
“[Sports venues] are the same as a restaurant. They sell food, they sell beer, liquor. Restaurants do the same thing. I think they should let restaurants be opened to full capacity also,” Kelly Adlys, a manager at Barley Works, said.
Adlys said he feels that all of the cleaning protocols that restaurants follow should be enough to allow them to expand capacity.
“I think we probably do more than the sports venues,” Adlys said.
Adlys hopes the province will begin allowing restaurants to open at full capacity soon. However, he mentioned if the limit is lifted, it may be a challenge to bring back enough staff in time to serve customers.