May 21st, 2024

Enmax Centre adjusts to new health measures

By Lethbridge Herald on December 22, 2021.

Herald file photo by Dale Woodard Lethbridge - Hurricanes forward Jett Jones squeezes Red Deer Rebels defenceman Matteo Fabrizi into the boards during preseason play earlier this year at the Enmax Centre. The Enmax Centre will adjust capacity limits to align with new health measures.

Trevor Busch – Lethbridge Herald

New COVID-19 restrictions handed down by the provincial government on Tuesday to control the spread of the Omicron variant has forced the Enmax Centre to implement changes.

As outlined in the announcement, a 50 per cent capacity limit will go into effect on December 24 at venues that seat more than 1,000 people. At the Enmax, all events will have their ticket capacity reduced to 50 per cent, based on the event’s configuration and intended capacity. The Enmax Centre has four different capacities for different types of events, which are adjusted accordingly, and the 50 per cent will apply to each individual event.

Existing ticket holders of Lethbridge Hurricanes games or events will not need to change their seats or seat locations as the capacity limit applies to the overall event size, therefore seats will remain as is. However, if patrons feel they would like to move to an open seat once at the event, they may do so.

“Starting with the game on the 28th, we’ll be trimmed back to half capacity,” said Terry Huisman, Hurricanes general manager of business operations, speaking to media on Wednesday. “What that means at this point is that all our season ticket holders will be able to attend the games. Half capacity is 2,542, the season ticket base we’ll be able to cover those numbers as well as we will implement a plan — because we have numerous other packages out there for sale, corporate voucher packages, flex tickets, and any other voucher pass that has been sold — we’ll allow until 6 p.m. on the day of the game, up to 60 for people that have those vouchers that they can cash in. After 6 p.m. it will be a first come, first served basis, and then we’ll open to walk-up traffic until that 510 number has been sold.”

Masks must be worn at all times throughout all events, and the door time for Lethbridge Hurricanes games will be moved to 6 p.m. from 5 p.m. as the lounge will not be available.

“Obviously, attendance does have an impact,” continued Huisman. “It’s always good to have the seventh player behind them, which is the fan base. Our attendance has been roughly around the 3,000 mark right now — we will see a bit of a decline — but the fans that have been coming have been very supportive, very loud and boisterous. The boys say they get charged up with that, especially after last year playing with no fans in the building, this has been quite a nice change for them.”

There will be no food and beverage services of any kind in the lounge, arena, or from the concessions for large events over 1,000 people, and patrons will not be allowed to bring food or beverages into the facility. However, catering services for smaller bookings under 250 people will remain operational for event bookings.

Ken Gallucci, Enmax Centre general manager, said the impact of this aspect of the restrictions will be a significant hit to the bottom line.

“It will be substantial. Food and beverage is one of our main revenue streams for all events, concerts, hockey games, you name it, it’s one of our main ones. We’re trying to determine what that actual impact will mean by events, but it is substantial.”

The new health measures have forced the cancellation of the upcoming Dierks Bentley concert on Jan. 19, and Gallucci hinted more cancellations may be coming.

“It is very disappointing. That one was especially disappointing, it was a great show to have. We do understand, though — they can’t operate on a 50 per cent capacity, and it’s been a factor across the country. So we thought it best at this point in time to cancel the show, allowing people to have refunds, and then hopefully in the future we might be able to book some other things.”

For all non-Hurricanes game events, the Enmax ticket centre will contact all patrons directly if they hold tickets to any shows that are affected by major changes.

“We are taking it day by day,” said Gallucci. “I know that different groups are looking at what is the impact? Is this long term or short term? We’re hoping that with this move that the government has made it turns into a very short term impact, and therefore we can proceed with everything else. Currently we haven’t seen any other moves, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t. So we’ll be playing it by ear, and we’ll keep all patrons notified as things come up.”

Gallucci pointed out staff members for the Enmax involved in concessions are not being laid off, but they will have no hours in the foreseeable future.

“This is a real impact on staffing, because those people want to work, they want to be able to generate some additional income. It works well for students or part time employment, people who want a little extra money. For us, too, we’ve been looking for people, so we don’t want to lose anyone, either. We have some exceptionally good staff and we hope they stay with us. Again, it goes back to hope this is a short-term impact and we can get back to business as quickly as possible. It’s an impact for all of us unfortunately.”

Concession services provided by the Enmax in different facilities will be closed to assist in reducing the further spread of COVID. The Yates Theatre, by request of New West Theatre, have asked for concession services to cease until further notice for their events. While not required by the new provincial health measures, all concession services in small arenas like Nicholas Sheran and Henderson Lake will be closed until further notice.

For more information, visit or call 403.329.7328 or visit the ticket centre.

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