The Nashville Predators have announced that they will start their season on January 14th without fans in attendance at Bridgestone Arena.
The Preds released a statement last week saying they “want to be a supportive member of the Nashville community, not a detriment.”
The team explained they “will work toward allowing [a] limited numbers of fans into the arena while finding new ways to engage our fanbase and steadily grow the number of fans permitted in the building.”
Similar to the NFL, the NHL is allowing local governments and health officials to determine the attendance of fans. The NHL season begins on January 13 and will consist of 56 regular-season games and four realigned divisions. The first game for the Predators is set for January 14 against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Bridgestone Arena.
Read the full statement issued by the Nashville Predators:
"First and foremost, our top priority is always the health and safety of our fans. As COVID-19 cases reach record-high numbers, we want to be a supportive member of the Nashville community, not a detriment.
Over the past few months, we have continued to shape, frame and revise our plan for reopening, and we couldn’t be more thankful to the Metro Board of Health, Mayor Cooper’s Office, the NHL and many others in helping us do so.
We know by now that the landscape in these times can change by the day. While we don’t want to articulate our plans too far ahead of time, we will make every effort to detail our arrangements with as much notice as possible.
Therefore, as we drop the puck on Jan. 14, we have decided to begin the season without fans in attendance at Bridgestone Arena. Over time, we will work toward allowing limited numbers of fans into the arena while finding new ways to engage our fanbase and steadily grow the number of fans permitted in the building.
Reopening our arena and getting back to playing hockey won’t be the same without our Loyal Legion cheering us on in person, but we will continue to build toward what we have come to know and appreciate in Smashville – 17,159 of the best fans in sports cheering the Nashville Predators to victory night after night."