Its Playoff Hockey Time, But Are Fans Included?


Noah Gehris, Editor

As the NHL post-season is starting up, so are the crowds. Almost all teams allow fans back into the stadiums, some with capacity caps, and some without. With the new rules being applied by president Joe Biden, stadiums are now free to place any rules they want, and any capacity they want. The rules of the stadium are officially in the hands of the owners.


One of the large capacity games was the first game of the Nashville Predators vs Carolina Hurricanes series. The game took place at the Nashville Predators stadium, Bridgestone Arena, and hosted around 12,135 paid ticket holders. The max capacity of the Bridgestone Arena is listed as 17,159, meaning that the stadium was at around 70% capacity. Fans were eligible to sit as close as the glass.


As most expected, everyone from the owner, to the players, are thrilled to have a crowd back. Predators president and CEO Sean Henry talked about getting a crowd back. “On the tail of the amazing stretch of hockey that secured our team’s spot in the 2021 Playoffs, this capacity increase will take what is already an amazing atmosphere to the next level as we continue our pursuit of the Stanley Cup,” 


Most changes happened on May 14th. Arenas will spread fans across the stadium, trying to keep them socially distanced while watching the game. Fans will also have the opportunity to get snacks and drinks, as snack bars will be available at the games. 


To make fans feel safe while taking off their mask, they have a system working in the stadiums at all times to get fresh air in the stadium. ‘Officials said in a press release, the arena will supplement its existing HVAC system with three additional air conditioning units, in order to meet this requirement. While creating an air-flow environment approximate to that of the outdoors, the use of these added air conditioning units will also serve to maintain optimal ice quality conditions despite climbing temperatures and humidity levels.” Most stadiums still require a mask on while not eating, but just in case, they have this system to keep everyone safe inside the stadium.