Capitals to welcome back fans to Capital One Arena on April 27

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Ryan Wormeli
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Capitals to welcome back fans to Capital One Arena on April 27 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

For the first time in over a year, the Capitals will finally be playing in front of their fans again later this month.

Beginning with the home game against the New York Islanders on April 27, the Capitals will be hosting fans in a limited capacity through the end of the season. In an announcement Monday, Washington said it would be giving priority to season ticket holders with general single game tickets opening up if seating remains available.

Including the game on April 27, the Capitals will be hosting fans for six regular season games. The news comes a few days after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's office announced that Capital One Arena was cleared to host fans as long as strict social distancing guidelines are kept.

The Capitals also announced that they will be welcoming "pre-selected frontline workers to the April 27 game in recognition of their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic."

The venue will be limited to 2,100 fans, or 10% of the normal seating capacity. Even with most of the stadium empty, bringing back fans is still a big deal to the organization.

“Our fans fuel everything our players and teams accomplish, and they have been deeply missed,” Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder and CEO Ted Leonsis said in a statement released by the team. “Our country has been through great stress over the past year, and it has taken a mental toll on all of us, but we know that sports are a great healer. So, we thank Mayor Bowser and her team for approving our vigorous health and safety plan so that some of our passionate Caps and Wizards fans may gather – with the first games being attended by some of our incredible first responders and frontline COVID-19 workers.”

Inside the arena, fans will be required to follow several health protocols, including wearing face masks, mobile ticketing procedures, pod-based seating, health screenings and more.