Edmonton named NHL hub city

The Government of Alberta said it is thrilled that the NHL has officially selected Edmonton as one of its hub cities for the restart of the 2019-2020 NHL season, the 2020 NHL Playoffs and the Stanley Cup Finals.

“Edmonton has tremendous advantages that make it a prime choice, and Alberta has been enthusiastically promoting that message over the past few months,” said Premier Jason Kenney in a statement today.

“This is a huge win for Alberta. The advantages to our local economy for hotels, restaurants and many other industries, including attracting future visitors to our province, will be substantial. In fact, it means upwards of 2,000 jobs here in Edmonton that will be created as a result, and $60 million of economic activity when we need it most. And, more importantly, we will be doing this safely.”

There will be 12 exhibition games — six in each city — from Tuesday through Thursday, and play will officially resume with the Stanley Cup Qualifiers on Aug. 1, when there will be three games at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto and two at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

The NHL is using three hotels in Edmonton within walking distance of Rogers Place to house all players, coaches and staff. The League is using two hotels in Toronto, one at Exhibition Place and the other near Scotiabank Arena.

There will be a fencing system running through each location to keep everyone inside the bubble secure and away from the general public. There will be 97 security guards and health ambassadors in Toronto and 125 in Edmonton.

Restaurants in the secure zones, some already in place and some the League is creating with the help of local chefs, will open early in the morning until late at night. Mayer said there will be a variety of food choices.

The League also created a concierge system by working with outside delivery companies to allow anyone in the bubble to get food, pharmaceutical needs and goods delivered from outside vendors.

The layout in each hub city includes designated space for indoor and outdoor activities, including movie theaters, player lounges, patio decks and recreational space. Players in Toronto will have use of BMO Field in Exhibition Place, home to Toronto FC of Major League Soccer.

Each hotel has team meeting rooms, meal rooms and fitness facilities. There will also be exclusive areas in the arenas for players to watch the other games.

The NHL will enhance the atmosphere for Stanley Cup playoff games at its hubs in Edmonton and Toronto through the use of LED screens, teams’ goal songs and play lists and other technology.

The NHL Hockey Operations Department had to create a level playing field for all 24 teams, especially to ensure the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers would not benefit from playing in their home arenas. They will have no more access to the facilities at their arena or own practice rink than other teams.

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