Leafs, Raptors owner to discontinue fan proof of vaccination

February 18, 2022 GMT
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) watch the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) watch the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) watch the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) watch the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) watch the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment said Friday it will discontinue the proof of vaccination requirement for fans entering its venues, beginning March 1.

MLSE owns the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, NBA’s Toronto Raptors, Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC and the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts.

The move follows an announcement from the Ontario government this week that it planned to slightly accelerate plans to ease attendance limits at indoor sports events.

Initially permitted capacity was going to rise to 50% on Monday and 100% on March 14. But on Monday, the Ontario government announced, starting Thursday, 50% of seating capacity would be allowed in large sporting and live music venues and increase to full capacity March 1.

MLSE said in a statement the only exception will be “in cases of league rules that require proof of vaccination for fans and personnel in close proximity to playing surfaces.” However, masking requirements will remain in effect across the province and in MLSE’s venues as well.

MLSE owns and operates Scotiabank Arena, BMO Field, Coca-Cola Coliseum, Ford Performance Centre, BMO Training Ground and the OVO Athletic Centre.