An NHL season without any fans at TD Garden? It’s unthinkable, but it just may happen. And, Boston Bruins president Cam Neely has no idea if fans will be allowed back.
In a zoom conference to the media on Thursday, Cam Neely was asked about the matter, and said while the goal is to get people back in the arena, he does not know when that will happen.
“I haven’t heard anything up to this point,” said Cam Neely. “We’re just going to try and get through this year. Once we get through this season, I think we’ll have a better understanding of when we can start next season and if we can get fans in the building. Obviously, that would be the ultimate goal – to start the year with fans, but we’re preparing for anything.”
Cam Neely’s comment came two days after Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said fans will not be back to Gillette Stadium for the opening of the NFL season. During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Baker addressed the situation on whether or not fans will be allowed back to stadiums and arenas in the near future.
The address came shortly after the New England Patriots announced a plan to bring back 20 percent of their fans to Gillette Stadium once the NFL seasons starts up. Baker said that his administration will not consider the proposal.
“We’ve had conversations with them and with the Red Sox, and we’ve basically said, ‘Look, we’re focused at this point on schools, and wouldn’t plan to do anything with respect to anything like that until we get much farther into the fall,’” Baker said.
However, fans could slowly begin to make their way back to Gillette Stadium in October. The opening of large venues is part of Phase 4 of the state’s re-opening strategy. This is because the transmission rate of the COVID-19 virus is at the highest in these places.
“Phase 4 does have arenas and large venues and other areas we thought that were [areas where] the virus was a particular risk of transmission. Now, Phase 4 is predicated on all of us getting through Phase 3, doing the things we all can do as I mentioned this idea of shared responsibility. But, in our view, Phase 4 really is predicated on some kind of medical breakthrough — either a vaccine or therapeutics to treat the virus,” Baker said on WCVB’s “On the Record” program.
On that note, Cam Neely and the Bruins may have to wait a bit longer for fans to come back to TD Garden.