The San Jose Sharks, who initially hesitated to comply with the three-week ban on large social gatherings put in place by Santa Clara County, have now announced that they will indeed play home games closed to the public. The team’s release states that “admission to games will be limited to home and visiting club personnel, approved credentialed media and broadcast partners, essential club and arena staff, and NHL officials.” Unlike the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team has only confirmed this restricted access policy through their March home games and not through the end of the regular season.
Fortunately, the Sharks will not miss out on that much ticket revenue if they only limit attendance for their remaining March home games. San Jose is set to host the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, and Coyotes, but that is it. The team has two additional home games in April that could be opened back up to the public.
As the fear of the spread of coronavirus intensifies, the Sharks and Blue Jackets are far from the only teams who will be playing empty arenas. Teams across multiple sports and at the major league, minor league, and amateur levels are all taking measures to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading to players and fans alike. That of course includes the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda as well, who share a building with their parent club Sharks. The Barracuda have just two home games scheduled through the rest of the month.