Before the puck drops for the preseason exhibition game Dec. 5 at 7:05 p.m. and the home opener Dec. 18 at 7:05 p.m. at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville Swamp Rabbits hockey fans may need to prepare for changes this season.
To begin with, attendees will see the crowd size limited to 3,924 fans to allow for proper social distancing. Ticket holders will be placed together in pod seating based on the number of tickets purchased together, said Todd Mackin, president of the Swamp Rabbits.
“This [pod seating] will be set up once we have all of our season ticket holders placed,” he said.
In addition to limiting the crowd size, the Bon Secours Wellness Arena is instituting a no-bag policy for the 2020-2021 season. However, attendees with diaper bags and any medically necessary bags will be allowed to bring those items into the venue. To see a full list of prohibited items, visit bonsecoursarena.com/guest-services/prohibited-items.
Once inside the building, all fans will be required to wear masks or other personal protection equipment, except when eating or drinking. Vendors, concessions and team tables will be open and available on the concourse and will include plexiglass for the safety of guests and staff.
The Swamp Rabbits team staff is still working out details for the season on themed nights and crowd interaction activities. For example, they are currently exploring methods to allow fans to take a socially distanced photo with Swamp Rabbits’ mascot Stomper or the team’s promotional group, the Rabettes.
“We will do everything in our power to continue to provide fun and entertaining theme nights while continuing to provide a safe place for our fans to come watch hockey,” said Mackin.
The Chuck-a-Puck game, which allows attendees to purchase pucks to throw onto the ice at a chosen time during an intermission between periods, will be returning this season.
In addition to the physical changes fans will see at the games, the Swamp Rabbits announced Nov. 20 an affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers beginning in the 2020-2021 season. The hockey team will also continue its current affiliation with the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers