Canada open to hosting an NHL hub: Here are the contenders
EDMONTON -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed Tuesday that his government supports having an NHL hub in a Canadian city.
"Obviously the decision needs to be made by the NHL and the cities and provinces in the jurisdiction but Canada is open to it," Trudeau said. "We are comfortable with moving forward."
He announced that an agreement to keep the Canada-U.S. border closed to non-essential travel has been extended to July 21. Trudeau did not address the government's mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the country, which could put the Canadian cities at a disadvantage.
Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto are among 10 cities being considered as hubs for the league's return to play. Two cities will be chosen to host 12 teams each to complete the 2019/20 season.
Here's a look at how each potential hub is faring during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what it's put on the table to attract the NHL.
The Edmonton Oilers have the support of the provincial government and the City of Edmonton in their bid.
Both levels of government have been advocating to bring the league to Rogers Place,
"We've got one of the best facilities, I would say the best facility," Premier Jason Kenney said in May. "It is attached to a brand-new hotel, all of the services are right there in a safely-integrated protected zone, that would keep the players and staff insulated, and so we've got a very, very strong pitch to make."
Alberta lifted its public health state of emergency on June 15 as the infection rate continued to decrease.
There was a rise in active cases in Edmonton in recent weeks, as restrictions were relaxed. As of June 15, Edmonton had 563 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Vancouver's bid to be a hub city has support from the province and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
The Vancouver Canucks plan, created with the NHL and public health officials, includes a quarantine "modification" that would allow a team to function as a family entity. It will allow teams to travel without increasing the risk of transmission in the province.
"So those individuals within that organization would stay together in that one hotel. They would travel to Rogers Arena together in private transportation," B.C. Premier Horgan said. "Any testing would be the responsibility of the club. No interaction with the public would take place for the 14-day quarantine period."
British Columbia has had a total of 2,745 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
Canada's biggest city has all of the amenities required to be a hub city, but considerably higher infection numbers.
The province allowed professional sports teams to return to their training facilities in May as part of its gradual reopening of the economy.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the NHL would be responsible for processing COVID-19 tests for players and staff, and that local testing capacity would not be impacted.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment hasn't commented publicly on its bid, but Ford did confirm that the organization reached out to the province to discuss a proposal in May.
As of June 16, Ontario has had 32,554 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Tuesday marked the third day in a row with fewer than 200 new cases.
The province is moving into the second phase of its reopening on June 19, but Toronto is excluded for at least one more week as officials continue to assess the public health trends.