NHL Continues Play Without Fans

As professional sports return to play, many organizations in the NHL have different ideas about how and when fans should be allowed back in the building.


Ethan Holmes

Hockey is revolved around the energetic atmosphere it brings to the spectators. The NHL is working to bring back their liveliness by allowing fans back into the arena.

The end of the 2019-2020 National Hockey League season was capped off with some of the quietest stadiums teams had ever experienced. Many players were forced to adapt to playing in arenas with no fans and no noise, a great change from the usual rambunctious crowds that are drawn to the sport. 


Since the end of last season, many have speculated when the NHL will once again allow fans at their games. The goal is to slowly incorporate small numbers of fans into each building, however, multiple teams have opted to take their time in filling the stadiums once again.


“I think an empty arena is a double-edged sword for the players,” junior Jason Fogel said. “I think it might allow for better concentration, but from my personal experience a lot of players use the energy given off by the fans and build upon it in order to step up their play.”


This lack of attendance has led to many people asking the same question: When will fans be allowed to support their favorite team in person again? Sadly, many fans who have sought out information on this topic have been let down.


Currently, games are being played in teams’ home arenas with no fans allowed to attend Michael Gallagher, writer for NHL.com had stated in a previous article. The league said they would be willing to make necessary changes to attendance policies if permitted as the season progresses and neutral-site games will be considered if necessary, he continued.


Many long time and dedicated fans are disappointed by this news, especially as the NHL season ended with many of the stadiums allowing a certain percentage of their stands to be filled. However, many believe that it is easy to see where the NHL organization is coming from, as they make their main goalkeeping both their players and fans healthy.


“I always enjoy going to Blackhawk games, so I’m a little upset that there’s a good chance I won’t be able to go this season,” junior Gavin Frank said. “I completely understand why they have all of the restrictions in place, though. I’d rather have to wait another year than catch a disease at one of the games.”


Although slightly upsetting for now, many fans are hoping for rules to change and conditions to improve in the near future. Other than that, many believe the only thing that can change the current state of this matter is time.