Carolina Hurricanes: Hockey Without Fans a Possibility

NHL Arena (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
NHL Arena (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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The Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, pushing some teams, like the Carolina Hurricanes, to consider empty arena Hockey.

It has been exactly one month since the beginning of this madness that has put an end to the sports we love for the season. The Carolina Hurricanes were waiting in New Jersey to face off against the devils and ended up just going home without playing the game. Since then the world has seen a virus explode across it and ruin everything it touches.

Don Waddell and the Carolina Hurricanes are now exploring multiple avenues of approach to try and save the season and bring back hockey. These range from going back to normal in the event the CDC deems it safe enough to do so to limited attendance to completely empty arenas without a single fan.

Let’s talk about limited attendance first. Don Waddell envisions finishing the season and going into a condensed playoffs with fewer games needed to win a series. That means playing out every game, or at least some games left.

Many of the games still on the docket to finish the season had already sold most of the seats. That would mean ticket vouchers, refunds, or some other compensation would be required for most fans that are holding a ticket. But who would get priority?

Season Ticket Members seem to be the easy choice, but for many other fans, the ticket they have might be their only chance at an NHL game.

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There is no doubt that it would be a difficult decision to make, but an even harder one would be the decision to not include any fans at all.

For regular-season games, It probably wouldn’t be a big deal and might allow games to be played in safe neutral ice in remote places in the US or Canada. This could allow for regular testing of players and a way to keep them safe.

The playoffs are another matter. Would it be the same without the fans? After all, the fans are the whole point of the sport. Without us, the fans, there wouldn’t really be professional sports. There wouldn’t playoffs, championships, or trophies. At that point, it just might be preferable to wait until the fans can come back into the building, cheer, hoot, and yell until the players are exhausted of it.

We all want hockey back in some sort of shape or form, but until we can be a part of the sport, perhaps the best thing to do is just keep everyone safe at home and enjoy reruns of a time before the madness and sickness.

Question for CC Readers: What do you consider to be the right choice for bringing back the sport?

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