The Vancouver Canucks played a hockey game at Rogers Arena on Sunday, and for the first time in 572 days, it featured fans in the stands.
Sure it was only preseason at 50% capacity, but it felt good for the 9,108 fans in attendance to be back. It felt good for the players too.
“You actually have no idea how much better it is, honest to God,” Bo Horvat told reporters after the game. “Not only atmosphere-wise, but it brings more life to the building. It brings more life to our team.”
No other NHL team waited as long as the Canucks to play at their home arena with fans in attendance.
The Canucks had gone a long time without playing in front of anyone in any arena, of course, playing 17 postseason games in empty arenas in 2020, before struggling through all 56 games last season without anyone in attendance at home and on the road.
Canucks fans went home happy, in large part thanks to Horvat, who picked up a goal and an assist in the 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
“Me especially, I love playing in front of people,” said Horvat. “I think it brings the best out of me and I think it brings the best out of anybody that’s on the ice.”
“It’s just a relief to have people back in the stands.”
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) October 4, 2021
Tickets not for sale
Tickets for the game were not made available to the general public, as season ticket members made up the entire crowd. That’s something to monitor going forward because if capacity isn’t increased, there likely won’t be many (or any?) seats available for anyone once season ticket members are accounted for.
The Canucks are still hopeful that the public health order will be changed once fans are required to be fully vaccinated to attend events in the province on October 24. Their home opener is two days later, on October 26.
But if capacity remains limited at 50%? Well, expect some sky-high prices on the resale market.
Auditions underway for new DJ and in-arena host
The Canucks still don’t have a new DJ, or in-arena host picked for this season.
Jay Swing, who served as the Canucks’ DJ until he was let go in 2018, is not being considered for the role.
New intro song
Canucks. Rogers Arena. Fans!
And a new intro song 🎶 pic.twitter.com/ZWtgbRVFW6
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) October 3, 2021
The Canucks hit the ice to a new intro song that appeared to draw rave reviews from fans — and that never happens.
The song appears to be Stadium Pow Wow by The Halluci Nation, a Canadian music group that blends “hip hop, reggae, moombahton, and dubstep-influenced dance music with elements of First Nations music, particularly vocal chanting and drumming.”
No idea if this will be used going forward, but I have to agree, it was tremendous.