Fans Are Finally Back in the NHL

TD Garden, January 21, 2020

Caleb Rosen

A packed Garden on January 21, 2020 Boston Bruins vs Vegas Golden Knights.

COVID has affected just about everyone in the country, and professional sports are no exception. Hockey has had to change their league protocols in response to COVID, both leading up to and during the season.

In addition to not allowing fans to attend games at the start of the season, the NHL realigned their divisions to be more geographically concentrated to reduce the travel distance between opponents and to try and mitigate the spread of COVID. Some teams have had to deal with one or a few people getting the virus, but they have been able to quarantine those infected or, if needed, postpone upcoming games until a later date.

Recently, however, home team fans have started being allowed back into arenas. The amount of fans allowed in each arena varies, as it depends on the state’s COVID regulations. At TD Garden here in Boston, Bruins fans were allowed back in at 12% capacity (about 2,200 people) starting March 25. At Madison Square Garden in New York City, Rangers fans were allowed back in at 10% capacity (about 2,000 people) starting back on February 26.

Andrew Nicholson, a sophomore at FHS, says that to feel protected from COVID at games, he would like to see certain regulations in place at the Garden, such as socially distanced seating and requiring masks. TD Garden has gone even further, implementing hand sanitizer stations scattered throughout, new socially distanced entrances and exits, prohibiting bags, and requiring phones to be used to show tickets and purchase food and souvenirs.

The Bruins season is currently set to end on May 11, and tickets for this season’s remaining games can be purchased at The NHL will continue to monitor the allowance of fans back and should any major issues occur league-wide, they would place the importance of player and fan safety first, as they have done in the past.