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NBA's Raptors, NHL's Maple Leafs stop ticket sales amid COVID-19 surge

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse coaches during a time out against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/6f456eab144b2ca795813c8b5089bbc1/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse coaches during a time out against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 31 (UPI) -- The NBA's Toronto Raptors and NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs stopped ticket sales for at least the next three weeks due to venue capacity limits put in place in Ontario amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the teams announced.

The teams announced the move late Thursday and the policy went into effect Friday. All tickets for the Raptors' scheduled Friday game against the Los Angeles Lakers are now canceled.

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The government in the Canadian province capped attendance at 1,000 people or 50%, whichever is less, due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. Attendance for Raptors and Maple Leafs home games will likely be limited to team staff members and the family and friends of players and coaches.

The Maple Leafs haven't played at home since Dec. 11, due to a team outbreak, which led to several game postponements.

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Earlier this week, the NHL postponed nine games involving Canadian teams due to COVID-19-related attendance restrictions.

The Ottawa Senators, who are scheduled to face the Maple Leafs on Saturday in Toronto, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers previously announced strict attendance limitations for home games this season.

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The Montreal Canadiens did not allow any fans to attend their game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Dec. 16 in Montreal in response to a request from Quebec public health officials. They haven't played a home game since.

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Winnipeg Jets home games also will be held without fans in attendance until at least Jan. 11, due to restrictions announced Monday by health officials in Manitoba.

More than 80 NHL games have been postponed so far this season. The NHL season started Oct. 12. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are scheduled to start May 2 and end in late June.

The NBA postponed a total of 11 games since the start of the season. More than 200 people -- between NBA players and coaches -- have entered the league's protocol this season. More than 100 remain in the protocol.

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