Drinks and snacks are back on the menu for local hockey fans.

The latest update from the provincial government means food and drink are allowed large venues again, albeit only when seated.

For the Okotoks Oilers, it's a huge relief and a chance to offer fans the experience they're used to.

Tyler King (Assistant General Manager, Business Operations) says he hopes to welcome many fans back who haven't been to a game in some time.

"When you're going for entertainment you want to be able to get a hot dog, get a drink, and enjoy it in your seat. I think that's going to really drive a lot of people who were staying away because the experience wasn't quite what it should be. It's going to give them a good reason to start coming back."

Fans also won't need to show proof of vaccination to gain entry.

These changes have been at the forefront of fans' minds, and though it's a big step in the return to normality, there are still health measures in place.

Large venues are still capped at 50 per cent capacity, and King thinks that could lead to sold-out games.

"We did mention to people when the capacity restrictions first came in that if you have a ticket you won't be turned away, but if we do have really strong demand for tickets, which we hope is going to be the case, we will have to cut off tickets once we know we're going to be at 50 per cent of the fire code capacity."

With that being the case, he recommends striking while the iron is hot if you're worried about snagging a ticket.

"That's a major, major fundraiser for us. It represents about 20 per cent of the revenue we bring in on a given game day. It definitely adds to the atmosphere for sure. We're just grateful to bring that experience back."

If all goes well, the province plans to repeal the remaining health measures in early March, just in time for the playoffs.

King says it's an exciting prospect not just for the fans, but the players too.

"We think it's a great reward for them to be able to really truly experience a 'back to normal' once we get to playoff time. This is a team that's been aching for some post-season hockey for quite a while, we haven't been in the playoffs for two full calendar years now. There really is nothing to compare it to."


The Oilers are at home on Saturday, February 19th. Find Tickets Here.