| Detroit Free Press
Jeff Blashill looks forward to more fans at Red Wings games: Such a great
Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, March 3, 2021.
Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Red Wings will have a bigger cheering section at their next home game.
When they host the Tampa Bay Lightning March 9, they will take advantage of eased restrictions that allow 750 people in the stands at Little Caesars Arena.
When they began the season Jan. 14, the limit was 250 – and that was mostly family or friends of team personnel. On Jan. 30, the limit was expanded to 500. Now there are also select concession stands open.
The news comes one day after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that stadiums and arenas in Michigan with a capacity greater than 10,000 seats can host up to 750 people, effective Friday.
The Wings visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, their last game before a four-day break. They lost Tuesday, 4-1, at the Columbus Blue Jackets, who had 1,953 fans in the stands at Nationwide Arena.
“It’s funny what perspective is,” coach Jeff Blashill said Wednesday. “If we had been playing in full buildings all year, we would have thought it was empty. It seemed full to us. You could hear the crowd. It was great.
“Chicago has nobody in their building, and the atmosphere is really, really quiet. I think Carolina has people in their building, too. It’s closer to what we are used to and what makes it such a great thing to be a part of.”
Luke Glendening said he wished the fans had been cheering for the Wings, but even so, appreciated the ambience.
“It was nice, a little bit of normalcy,” he said. “It was nice to have people in the building.”
The Wings had not yet released information on ticket sales.
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.