The Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks will play their March 21 game at the SAP Center in San Jose without fans in the arena in an effort to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. The Sharks released a statement early Wednesday evening that the only home and visiting club personnel approved credentialed media and broadcast partners, essential club and arena staff, and NHL officials will be allowed to attend. The same will apply for the Sharks games against the Montreal Canadiens March 19 and the Arizona Coyotes on March 29.
Here’s the full statement from Sharks Sports and Entertainment:
“All three San Jose Sharks games (March 19 vs. Montreal, March 21 vs. Boston and March 29 vs. Arizona) will be played as scheduled at SAP Center but will be closed to the general public.
Admission to games will be limited to home and visiting club personnel, approved credentialed media and broadcast partners, essential club and arena staff, and NHL officials.
All three Sharks games will be broadcast on television on NBC Sports California and via audio feed on the Sharks+SAP Center app, 98.5 FM KFOX and the Sharks Radio Network.
The same policy will apply for the San Jose Barracuda games scheduled for March 17 vs. Colorado and March 22 vs. Bakersfield.
The ticketing department will work with ticket holders on appropriate credits or refunds for these affected games. Single-game buyers will receive a refund through their point of purchase. We will be communicating to ticket holders, partners and other affected parties with additional information soon.
The safety of our fans, guests and partners is of the utmost importance. Sharks Sports & Entertainment and SAP Center management greatly appreciate your understanding during this unprecedented time.”
On Monday, Santa Clara County issued a ban on public gatherings of more than 1,000 people and on Wednesday, prior to the Sharks announcement, the White House urged the county to ban gatherings of over 250 people.
On Monday, Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron addressed the potential of playing a game with no fans to the media before he and his teammates took off to Philadelphia for what turned out to be a 2-0 win over the Flyers in front of a soldout crowd at the Wells Fargo Center Tuesday.
“We often say that [the fans] are the Seventh Player and that’s who we are playing for,” Bergeron said. “We’re playing for ourselves obviously, but it’s also the atmosphere and the energy. They are the ones that create it. That would be a big void. It would be tough. It would be really tough.”