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Komet hockey is back: Plan in place to get fans back in ‘The Jungle’

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — The Komets will play in February.

After a delayed start due to the pandemic, the Fort Wayne hockey team will play on, but fans should expect some big changes at Coliseum home games.

Coliseum officials worked with the Allen County Health Department to develop a safety plan.

“After thirty years of ownership, we’ve made a decision to resume play based on the cooperation of the Coliseum, the direction of the ECHL and for the opportunity for the community to support the Komets in these awful times, said Komets CEO Stephen Franke.”

“We hope the protocols established will make it a safe environment for the fans, players and the staff of the Komet Hockey team. We know this will be different than any other situation we’ve experienced in the three decades of ownership, so let me say, it’s time to play Komet Hockey!”

“The safety of our fans, players, coaches, trainers, our great staff, and coliseum workers was our number one priority in making this decision,” he said.

New changes coming this hockey season:

  • New payment system in the parking lot where guests can use touchless debit/credit cars
  • New electronic ticketing system that will take guest’s info for contact tracing information
  • Ticket scanning equipment at the door so staff won’t touch the tickets
  • Staff have installed more than 80 hand sanitizing units across the arena, and workers put markers on the floor in key areas to remind folks to social distance.
  • The team is offering tickets grouped into pods. Fans can purchase up to 8 tickets so long as everyone in the pod lives in the same household
  • Total capacity inside The Jungle will be limited to 25 percent of normal hockey capacity. That works out to 2,619 fans.
  • Masks will be required at all times in the building unless they are eating or drinking.
  • Sports fans wanting to bring some personal items with them inside the Memorial Coliseum will be required to use a clear bag so that security workers don’t have to touch bags.

Memorial Coliseum General Manager Randy Brown said more changes could be implemented as the situation develops.

Some ECHL teams began to play in December, while others are on the “second start.” Some teams won’t play at all.

The Fort Wayne Komets announced Tuesday that the team will return to play the weekend of Feb. 12 for a fifty-game regular season.  The start of training camp has yet to be determined with a regular season schedule to be released at a later date.

This will be the Komets 69th season and the ninth in the ECHL. The team has not played a regular season game since March 11, 2020 when the Komets defeated the Wichita Thunder 7-2 at the Coliseum.

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Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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