The topic of fans at sporting events has been a controversial one in the middle of this ongoing pandemic but more and more sports teams have begun to open up their venues. The attendance has been limited to a fraction of what you would expect under normal circumstances but it has been a refreshing return to normal in many of these instances and it seems like every day we are hearing of plans for more teams and cities to potentially open things back up again.
The latest comes to us courtesy of some online rumors involving the National Hockey League's Chicago Blackhawks, specifically as it pertains to fans being able to once again return to the United Center. The rumors come courtesy of the Chicago Sun Times Ben Pope, who started to notice some interesting changes in the venue as of late, with him publishing a couple of pictures on Saturday morning that have caught the attention of careful observers.
The first came in relation to changes that were made to the seating, with Pope noticing that certain sections have been tapped off. He believes that this could be the first indication of a seating plan that would allow fans to be seated in small pods while watching the game live at the United cEnter.
Now that on its own would not have been worthy of reporting in my estimation, but when added to the context of two other pictures shared by Pope this morning it becomes very interesting indeed. Pope spotted two signs at the United Center that make it difficult to believe that this is anything other than a plan to bring fans back, with one sign just straight up reading "Welcome back."
The second sign may be even more convincing to me however, as it lists a series of guidelines for people to follow while attending the games during the pandemic.
The sign reminds fans that masks are required at all times, that they need to regularly sanitize their hands while in attendance, that they must follow social distancing guidelines, and furthermore that they would prefer cashless purchases be used.
I suppose you could argue that most of these could simply apply to those working at the United Center in spite of the pandemic, but that final point about cashless purchases has convinced that the Blackhawks do in fact have a plan in place to bring back their fans.