During on press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Toronto Mayor John Tory dropped some major news on the sports world. He said the City of Toronto is cancelling all permits for major events through June 30th. However, the ban is on city-run events and does not affect the NHL, MLB, MLB, and MLS from returning.
Toronto has banned all events through June 30. https://t.co/wsCxxy6oF7
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 31, 2020
Toronto Cancels All Events
With NHL season still on pause, and the ongoing coronavirus increasing the mayor of Toronto dropped a huge bombshell. John Tory announced that he was cancelling all major public events through the end of June in the city of Toronto. That means if sports were to return to the city of Toronto before that date, games will be played without fans in the ballparks, arenas, and stadiums.
Adding to this, City of Toronto’s Chief Communications Officer Brad Ross told me: “Sporting events don’t require permits, but the mass gathering order was issued by the province and they would need to address that aspect.”
ON banned gatherings of more than 5 ppl a few days ago. https://t.co/tMfa8RKcmy
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) March 31, 2020
The Impact on the NHL
Ever since the NHL went on hiatus following in the steps of the NBA, the league has been looking into different scenarios to playing out the season. Both NHL Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly have stated they want to crown a Stanley Cup Champion this season by keeping up the integrity of the game. With the self-isolation period extended to April 15th, that means the most likely scenario for hockey to return would be sometime in July.
That option has been discussed, which was brought forth by several players, is having teams return to the ice in early July for training camp and then play out the rest of the regular season. Followed by the Stanley Cup Playoffs in August and September. With the off-season being in October and the new season beginning in November. We have seen the NHL play into late June during the 1994 and 2012 lockouts, so it is not impossible for this scenario to happen. However, things like the bye week and the All-Star will probably be cut from the schedule. Not to mention the NHL has asked teams for their building availability in July and August.
With each passing day as the situation surrounding the coronavirus becomes more and more real, the proposal by the players makes a lot of sense. Just imagine if hockey did return before July and the Toronto Maple Leafs are fighting for a playoff spot or in the playoffs, how weird will it be to see them play inside an empty arena and no fans outside in Maple Leafs Square?
Nobody really knows what the future holds. But if you think sports was coming back prior to July, then think again now that Toronto cancels all events through the end of June.
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