The Quebec government’s decision, announced Friday afternoon, demanding the ban of all public events, sports submitted by 31 August means, among other things, that the Rogers Cup will not take place from 8 to August 16, as planned at the Stage IGA.
After the postponement of the F1 Grand Prix of Canada announced in the beginning of the week, the COVID-19 has forced the offset (or perhaps even the cancellation of another major competition in Montreal, and, not least, the tennis tournament which was to bring together the elite of women to the specialty.
This drastic measure, which, strangely, confirmed a few hours after the press daily of the prime minister, François Legault, is not without creating some confusion as it excludes the professional sports leagues, including the Alouettes (football) and Impact (soccer).
“As long as the safety distance physics are respected,” says one.
However, how these two training courses in montreal can they get a reprieve then, for its part, the federal government does not return to normal before a year and maybe even more, as long as a vaccine will be found to counter the pandemic ?
A question of logistics
A few hours after this major announcement, the ministry of Tourism of Quebec, however, has made a few clarifications. The organizations of the Alouettes and the Impact will be exempted by this new measure.
It is primarily for reasons of logistics. If the calendars of the Major League Soccer (MLS) and the canadian football League (CFL) were set in motion before August 31, the Alouettes and the Impact could play matches in local stadiums Percival-Molson and Saputo, respectively, but they should do so without spectators.
For the Rogers Cup, it is a question of a postponement and not a cancellation for the moment.
“For us, a tournament closed to the public, it is not feasible, stressed the director of the tournament, Eugène Lapierre, in a telephone interview with the Journal de Montréal. The majority of our income comes from tickets sold and sponsors. ”
At the present time, the tournament of Toronto, which is set to host the top players in men’s this summer, remains on the same dates.
“For the past few weeks, one deals with the two tournaments separately. If we can save one of the two, it will be so much the better, ” said Lapierre.
The leadership of Tennis Canada have set a deadline to the authorities concerned (ATP for men and WTA on the women’s side) for the presentation of the two tournaments, 11 October.
You might think it is daring with the unpredictable weather of the autumn in Quebec and Ontario.
A cow to milk
Lapierre will do everything to ensure that the two tournaments are presented. And we can understand it very well. This is to avoid a financial disaster at Tennis Canada, which has 120 employees.
“A cancellation would be a blow because 90 % of the revenues from our events are invested into our development programs. We could continue, but with a budget much lower, said Lapierre.
“It is sure that it would be a setback. We could feel the effects for a few years. ”
And the mountain bike ?
On the side of the company Gestev, which organizes the world Cup of mountain biking at mont-Sainte-Anne in Quebec, scheduled for 21 to 23 August, a decision will be made next week.
“An analysis of the events of Gestev and the Centre Videotron planned for this period will be made in the next few days and specific communications relating to the postponement or cancellation thereof will be transmitted as quickly as possible “, announced by way of press release the Group Sports & entertainment, Quebecor, which is part Gestev.
The group is also the owner of the Quebec Remparts and Armada of Blainville-Boisbriand in the League the Quebec major junior hockey (QMJHL).
The GP3R deferred
Finally, the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières is another sporting competition, the most important in the Mauricie region, is directly concerned by the decision of the government of Quebec. It was programmed, as it is the custom, over two weekends, from 31 July to 9 August. This calendar does more.
“Considering several scenarios, said its director-general, Dominic Fugère. Our weekend NASCAR could take place on 19 and 20 September. ”
– With the collaboration of Roby St-Gelais