Nationwide Arena, home to the Columbus Blue Jackets, will temporarily be closing its doors to spectators at sporting events. As The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reports, this order comes from the state government of Ohio and affects all sporting events within the state.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine just specified that the order to be issued in the next 24-36 hours will be that no spectators will be allowed at games. That’s NCAA, #CBJ, #Cavs, etc.
Media and staff will be allowed, just not spectators.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) March 11, 2020
Update: The Blue Jackets themselves have now stated that their remaining home games will be held with ‘limited attendance,’ meaning that the general public will not be allowed.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 11, 2020
Columbus Blue Jackets Arena Closed
No official order has been issued as of yet. However, Ohio governor Mike DeWine has stated that all sporting events in the state of Ohio are prohibited from having spectators in the stands. All this is quite obviously in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) within the United States and Ohio, as the virus was classified today as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Per WBNS-10 TV Columbus, the state of Ohio has four confirmed cases of COVID-19. One case has been determined to have been community-spread.
What This Means for the Future
This comes as a major bump in the road for a team in the thick of a playoff push. All ticket holders will presumably be compensated. However, no official announcement has come from the team on this front.
As of now, the Blue Jackets will be playing to an empty arena. Columbus is at risk of playing all their five remaining home games without spectators. If the Blue Jackets are to make it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, their team, led by captain Nick Foligno, has to overcome the awkwardness and shock of playing without their ‘5th Line.’
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