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“As far as our place is concerned, we’re done. It’s not even worth opening the door,” said Tom Partalas, president of the London Optimist Sports Centre that operates the BMO Centre, an indoor soccer facility on Rectory Street.

“There will be a lot of disappointed people, but we have to follow the instructions of the health unit.”

The new rules come into effect shortly after the centre launched an indoor soccer campaign catering to more than 1,100 players. The BMO Centre boasts six fields and 175,000 square feet, but cutting down to 10 people per surface is not economically viable, Partalas said.

The facility normally attracts thousands of athletes a week for sports including football, lacrosse, volleyball and ultimate frisbee.

“The only thing that will make me happy is if the health unit thinks let’s give it a try for a few weeks and let’s re-assess, so I can tell the kids this is only temporary,” Partalas said.

“That would be good news to say but if they say we’re going to shut you down until January, we’re in bad shape. I hope we’re able to pay our bills.”

While classes and programs at indoor recreation facilities are limited to 10 including staff, big spaces  – including arena ice pads – can have multiple groups of 10 as long as they remain at least nine metres apart, the health unit order says.

The London Jr. Knights have been building up their sessions with the anticipation of starting four-on-four games Nov. 1. That’s on the backburner now.