Don't burst the bubble: Fences erected around Rogers Place as NHL descends on Edmonton
EDMONTON -- Fences are being put up around Ice District and Rogers Place to create the so-called bubble as NHL teams begin to arrive in Edmonton this week.
Ice District has confirmed the fences seen on 103 Avenue and 102 Street were installed to comply with NHL and Alberta Health orders "to create a bubble for players and staff during the 2020 playoffs."
In addition, the City Centre east parkade is closed until further notice, Ice District said, but the north and west parkade entrances remain accessible from 103 Avenue westbound.
There is still pedestrian access at Plaza Way and 102 Street between the JW Marriott and Stantec.
It's unclear what other roads and areas will be closed as a result of the NHL bubble.
Players and personnel from the 12 western teams are scheduled to arrive in Edmonton by Sunday before games start Aug. 1.
They will stay in the bubble for the duration of the playoffs and be tested for COVID-19 on a regular basis. On Monday, the NHL said two players tested positive for the virus during the first week of training camp.
The league is talking to local restaurants to cater meals for those within the bubble and coordinating with golf courses to open to players and personnel only on certain days.
On Thursday, Rogers Place was damaged during a thunderstorm but Oilers Entertainment Group said the facility would be ready in time for the playoffs.
Despite the excitement to have hockey back and host 12 NHL teams, the bubble is already proving to be inconvenient some for some in downtown Edmonton.
Commuters, including those who ride their bikes to work, say they are having to take long detours or ride on the sidewalk to get around the fences.
For Mike Sacha, it means a longer bike ride to go grocery shopping.
Max Amerongen says he doesn't want to commute to work on Jasper Avenue or 104 Avenue for safety reasons, so he's being forced to ride on the sidewalk.