Hundreds of Nailers’ fans are filling up the seats this season as their favorite hockey team battles it out on ice. But it won’t be the same experience.
“We’re so excited to be dreaming about live events again, and this is the beginning.”denny Magruder, executive director of the GWSEA
The Wesbanco Arena has been left virtually empty for months due to the virus but not for long.
“It’s been a longtime coming.”denny Magruder, executive director of the GWSEA
The Wheeling Nailers is one of the 13 teams in the East Coast Hockey League going head to head on ice again this season.
Even the fans are welcomed back, but not without safety precautions.
“I can assure the fans out there that we will be prepared to offer a very safe and sanitary environment. I want them to feel comfortable when they come back here. I want them to know that we miss them.”denny Magruder, executive director of the GWSEA
But the Nailers didn’t prep for this season alone.
“The goal here is to have fans in the Arena. We know it’s going to be reduced capacity.”robert Herron, Wheeling city manager
All-summer-long both the city of Wheeling and the Nailers have been preparing for all the safety precautions. Officials say all of it costs $150,000.
“It’s going to be a learning curve again. It’s almost like learning to walk again for us.”denny Magruder, executive director of the GWSEA
Officials say you’ll have sneeze guards throughout the facility, especially at all of the concession stands, coffee shops, and anywhere there are transactions. All restrooms will have a contact-less entrance. Some seats will have social distanced seat coverings. Even the staff will have PPE and special devices to help disinfect.
Officials say the locker rooms and rest rooms will be cleaned more often as well.
“It is, for a change since March, going to bring people downtown for an event.”robert Herron, Wheeling city manager
Meanwhile, Wesbanco Arena is just as excited.
“We’re really excited and appreciate the fans having the confidence to come back and visit us.”denny Magruder, executive director of the GWSEA
This season you could only get your tickets online or through your phone. Officials say it’s a contact-less way of doing it.
The first hockey game of the season is December 12th.