The Blue Jackets May Soon Have Fans Back at Nationwide Arena, According to NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly

By 1OB Staff on January 11, 2021 at 5:01 pm
Fans enter Nationwide Arena before the Columbus Blue Jackets played in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Aaron Doster – USA TODAY Sports

Speaking on a conference call with reporters on Monday afternoon, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly provided an update on the potential of fans attending games in the near future.

As of this week, three NHL teams – the Florida Panthers, Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes – plan to have limited crowds in the building when the 2020-21 season starts this week. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets may soon be joining that group.

A couple hours up I-71, the Cleveland Cavaliers have had fans at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse since the NBA began its pandemic-shortened season. Ohio governor Mike DeWine gave them the go-ahead for a percentage-based (10%) crowd that may increase as the season continues–and as more of the population becomes vaccinated for COVID-19.

The Blue Jackets, if Daly's words come to fruition, would likely be looking at a similar situation.

For the time being, it's expected that Columbus will not have fans in Nationwide Arena for its season opener next week against the Tampa Bay Lightning.