Kal Tire Place and the City of Vernon will be one of five B.C. Hockey League pod venues for the shortened season starting in April. (File photo)

Kal Tire Place and the City of Vernon will be one of five B.C. Hockey League pod venues for the shortened season starting in April. (File photo)

Vernon officially one of five B.C. Hockey League pod cities

Who the Vipers will be playing in the pod has not been announced

The City of Vernon will be one of five pod city hosts as the B.C. Hockey League will go with a condensed 2020-21 season.

The BCHL has worked with the office of the B.C. Provincial Health Officer (PHO) to develop an approved Safe Return to Play plan that allows for the return of gameplay in a safe manner for all involved.

“The city has worked closely with the Vernon Vipers and the BCHL to secure game times at Kal Tire Place with limited impact to current user groups,” said Leah Walker, manager, customer service – recreation.

The other pod cities will be Penticton, Chilliwack, Coquitlam and Port Alberni.

Sixteen of the league’s 18 franchises will compete in the pod format.

The Langley Rivermen have opted out of the pod season and will join the league’s only American franchise, the Wenatchee Wild, on the outside looking in. The Wild can’t take part due to border restrictions.

The BCHL will be announcing pod teams and a game schedule at a later date, identifying who else will play at Kal Tire Place.

“The Vernon Vipers truly appreciate the work that the City of Vernon and staff did in making this happen for us and the British Columbia Hockey League,” said Todd Miller, Vipers’ executive vice-president.

Miller said the league would likely be playing an 18-to-20 game schedule with no playoffs and no fans.

“It will be to showcase our players to scouts,” he said.

The Safe Return to Play plan, approved by the PHO, requires the teams to only play within their pods and strictly limits the number of people allowed in the building to those who are essential to make the game happen. This, unfortunately, means that spectators will not be able to be present for these games.

“The City of Vernon is excited to be named a host city for BCHL pod gameplay,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “We have missed having the Vernon Vipers on the ice and are excited to see this first step towards a return to play. We know many fans are anxious to get back in their seats to cheer on the team, but we’ll continue to wait patiently until the time comes that we can gather again safely and be among the hometown crowd.”

READ MORE: BC Hockey League announces shortened season will begin in April

READ MORE: Petition calls for government to allow B.C. Hockey League to start playing



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

@Vernon VipersBCHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Interior Health hospitals not strained by rising COVID case counts

While provincial hospitalizations rise, health care systems in the B.C. Interior remain robust, say officials

BC CDC data showing the geographic distribution of COVID cases in the province. (BC CDC photo)
One new case of COVID-19 in Golden

Cases continue to surge in surrounding areas

The Golden Golf Club will open for a new season on the links beginning April 24. (Claire Palmer photo)
Golden Golf club eyes April 24 start

The golf course is supporting local businesses with the driving range and mini-golf

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A in Princeton

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a truck fire on Dallas Road in Vernon April 15, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
WATCH: Vernon firefighters quick to douse fully involved truck fire

The fire was near multiple structures and spreading along the ground upon crews’ arrival

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

Fire crews tend to a collision that is causing severe traffic delays on the William R. Bennett bridge headed east into Kelowna. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
7 vehicle collision on WR Bennett Bridge under investigation

The collision backed up traffic on the William R. Bennett bridge for much of the morning

Kelowna company celebrates milestone of producing 46 million masks in under a year.
46 million masks and counting: Kelowna company reaches 1 year milstone

In under a year, Breathe Manufacturing Ltd. in Kelowna has hit production of 46 million masks for front-line workers

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna RCMP investigating hit and run involving 11-year-old

Police said the boy suffered minor injuries

Most Read