COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Fifth Line is getting ready to head back into Nationwide Arena for the first time in more than a year.
This is the day Jackets fans have been looking forward to for a long time. A year and one day ago Blue Jackets fans saw the team beat Vancouver, and that was the last time fans were allowed to see the team play at home, and in-person due to COVID-19.
“Absolutely,” said fan Zachary Hunter, who will be attending Tuesday’s game with his son Samuel. “366 days, it’s a long time coming to be back in Nationwide Arena with The Fifth Line cheering on the Blue Jackets.”
Nationwide Arena will be 10 percent full for Tuesday’s game. Fans will be required to follow a number of safety protocols, which include filling out a health survey and wearing a mask when they are not eating or drinking.
Mike Todd, the in-arena host for the team, is glad to see fans returning. One of Todd’s responsibilities is to manage the synthetic fan sound in the arena, which he says will be quieter than in games earlier this season.
“We’re going to hear a little bit of it, but I’m literally going to play it by ear,” he said. “We want The Fifth Line at the front. We want to be hearing them the most so, you’ll maybe hear a small layer of that synthetic crowd noise just to kind of sprinkle a little spice on the sauce so to speak but once again, The Fifth Line is what we want to hear and I’m sure we’re going to hear them loud and proud tonight.”
The Jackets face off against the Detroit Red Wings, with the puck dropping at 7 p.m.