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The City of Chicago officially announced Thursday that fans will be allowed back into the United Center for Blackhawks and Bulls games at 25 percent capacity, beginning on May 7. That means all 24 U.S. NHL teams have opened their doors to fans again; Chicago was the last team to receive permission from city and state government officials.
The Blackhawks are scheduled to host the Dallas Stars on May 9 and 10 and having fans in the building will be a nice way to conclude the regular season.
"It’s great," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "Obviously that extra energy will really help our guys. The impact they have at home here at the United Center, it’s well known across the league and we want to get back to it."
May 9 will mark the first game with fans at the United Center since March 11, 2020 when the Blackhawks defeated the San Jose Sharks 6-2. The NHL put its season on pause the next day because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the doors have been shut to the public ever since.
The Blackhawks have led the NHL in attendance for 12 consecutive seasons, starting in 2008. And the players are just as excited as the fans to hear the roar again.
"It's super exciting," Connor Murphy said. "We miss them, obviously. It feels like it’s been a while and we can’t wait to have whatever amount it is back. It’ll be exciting. A lot of new guys on the team have been here all year don't what it’s like and have been itching, knowing playing here, whether it's guys that have been in the NHL with other teams on the road, know what it's like coming in here and the adrenaline you get from our crowd and our anthem.
"And then other guys coming in, rookies, it’ll just be that much more exciting. It’ll probably hit home even more what being is Blackhawk is like, being able to have our fans."
Blackhawks season-ticketholders will have priority access for the final two games and will be able to purchase tickets beginning on Monday, May 3. Any remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, May 4 at 12 p.m.
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