BOSTON (CBS) — The NHL thought long and hard before very carefully choosing its hub cities for its plans to return to play. Suffice it to say, nobody predicted this would happen.
On Thursday evening, a heavy storm whipped through Edmonton, where the Western Conference is scheduled to take up residence later this month. That storm resulted in some flooding within Rogers Place, where all of the Western Conference games plus the Stanley Cup Final are set to take place.
The initial footage from inside the arena did not look particularly promising.
— Karm Sumal (@KarmSumal) July 17, 2020
— Courtney Theriault (@cspotweet) July 17, 2020
Got a look at some of the flooding damage to the Rogers Centre from the outside. In one the halls here you can see it’s completely flooded, full of hail. The area is blocked off with caution tape and workers are out looking to be assessing the damage. #yeg pic.twitter.com/baXMCYVFoD
— Lauren Boothby (@laurby) July 17, 2020
Fortunately, despite that frightening scene, it does not appear as though the flooding will disrupt the NHL’s plans.
“A significant storm came through Edmonton earlier this evening,” The Oilers Entertainment Group said in a statement. “As a result, Rogers Place has suffered some water damage to the terminus of Ford Hall, along with some smaller leaks in other parts of the building.
“We are assessing the damage and at this time are confident that it will not hamper our planning and preparation and we will be ready to host the return of NHL hockey as [a] hub city.”
Teams are scheduled to travel to Edmonton on July 26.