First home game with no audience number restrictions for Kitchener Rangers
The Kitchener Rangers’ 5-1 win over the Sarnia Sting on Friday marked a significant milestone.
It was the first home game at the Aud with a full capacity crowd allowed in the stands, under the province’s recently relaxed restrictions.
“There’s only been six days’ notice compared to three or four months, which is when regular season games are released,” said Rangers COO Joe Birch. “You have that time to prepare.”
While the puck dropped at 7:30, doors were open an hour before and saw lines to get in.
“It’ll be nice to see everybody because it’s been so long since we’ve had this,” one fan said before the game.
Max capacity at The Aud is 7,777, but staff expected just shy of 5,000 of those seats to be filled.
The Rangers usually sell about 5,000 season tickets, but were only able to sell about 65 per cent of that for this season.
Fans have to show proof of double vaccination and wear masks when they’re not eating.
“We’re really happy where we’re at with for tonight’s attendance,” said Birch.
Last Friday, the Rangers were allowed 50 per cent capacity and able to sell out.
Birch adds that, just because they’re not filling up all 7,000 seats this Friday, they’re confident attendance will keep rising in the coming weeks, as pre-pandemic crowds typically started to get bigger after mid-November.