Ottawa BlackJacks welcome fans to arena in Step 3

The Arena at TD Place in Ottawa, home of the Ottawa BlackJacks of the Canadian Elite Basketball League. (AJ Jakubec / TSN1200)

Live sports with fans in the stands will be returning to Ottawa this week.

The Ottawa BlackJacks, of the Canadian Elite Basketball League, will be allowing up to 1,000 fans into the Arena at TD Place for their final three home games of the regular season, on July 17, July 26, and Aug. 4.

The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group has designed a seating arrangement to allow for physical distancing. There will be several hand sanitizing stations throughout the arena and masks will be mandatory.

The BlackJacks won their final game without fans on Saturday with a 90-84 win over the Fraser Valley Bandits. The team has a 2-4 record so far this season.

"The Ottawa BlackJacks are proud to be the first pro team back in our nation’s capital, and first to welcome our amazing fans, who have never experienced a game in person," said Michael Cvitkovic, President of the Ottawa BlackJacks Basketball Club in a press release. "BlackJacks fans have been so engaged with the team online, and now we finally get to show our appreciation live in a safe environment."

Ontario moves to Step 3 of its reopening plan at 12:01 a.m. Friday, five days ahead of schedule. Step 3 allows for larger gatherings, indoor dining, and other amenities to reopen.

Current BlackJacks ticket holders can lock in their seats ahead of time. Limited tickets for BlackJacks home games go on sale to the general public Tuesday at 10 a.m. at https://www.theblackjacks.ca/