In this May 27, 2019, file photo, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to the media before Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final between the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins in Boston. The National Hockey League detailed what the hub cities, Toronto and Edmonton, will look like under their return to play plan in a video presentation on Thursday.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

NHL gives closer look at hub cities before play resumes

The National Hockey League detailed what the hub cities, Toronto and Edmonton, will look like under their return to play plan in a video presentation on Thursday.

The NHL’s bubble in Edmonton will consist of four hotels and amenities for teams, staff, and league officials, 14 onsite bars, restaurants, pubs, food trucks and coffee shops, eight movie theaters, dining areas, and activity spaces, 24 team dedicated lounges, suites and offices, and 13 fitness centres, weight facilities and practice ice rinks.

In Toronto, the bubble is separated into two areas, one in Exhibition Place, and one in downtown Toronto. It will contain 14 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, 8 tennis courts, movie theaters, golf suites, and fitness studios, 12 dressing and medical rooms, and four practice facility ice rinks, three of which are NHL sized, and one Olympic sized rink. The Toronto bubble also includes BMO Field for outdoor recreational activities. 

NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer said that the in-ice presentation will be unique to the Stanley Cup playoffs, and will include LED screens, monitors and stages.

“We’re going to bring these arenas to life through the art of video and audio and lighting,” Mayer said. 

The NHL also said that it has partnered with video game developer and publisher EA Sports, to use its catalog of in-game sounds in order to imitate the sound of crowds when the playoffs start on Aug. 1. 

In terms of testing, the NHL has partnered with LifeLabs in Toronto and DynaLife in Edmonton to conduct daily tests with the results becoming available in 24 hours. 

In the video, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league has been following the advice of medical people and the provincial and federal governments to make sure they’re doing the right things. 

“Paramount in everything we’ve done to date, and everything we’ll be doing moving forward, is the health and well being of all NHL personnel starting with players and coaches and all of the supporting people that are necessary for us to play our games,” Bettman said. 

The NHL had paused the season on March 12 due to health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, the NHL and the National Hockey League Player’s ratified an agreement on a return to play plan.

When the playoffs start, the top four teams in each conference will play each other to determine their seedings for the playoffs. Sixteen other teams will play each other in a best of five series to determine their seeding. 

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