Bruins take series against Capitals, could play in front of a near-full capacity crowd in next game

BOSTON — Today marks five days until Massachusetts lifts coronavirus restrictions and fully reopens. Starting Saturday, mask mandates will be lifted for everyone except for a few places. All gathering limits are being lifted, all industries will be allowed to reopen, and the state will drop capacity limits at sports arenas and stadiums, meaning tens of thousands of fans at games.

One team excited for that is the Bruins. They easily won their series against the Capitals 4-1. Now they wait to see who their next opponent is. Depending on who wins and how quickly will play a big role in how many people will be sitting in the seats at the Garden when the B’s are back home.

Tricia McCorkle, TD Garden’s director of Marketing and Communications, released a statement to Boston 25 on lifting COVID-19 restrictions, saying:

“The Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics have confirmed with their respective leagues that TD Garden is permitted to align with City and State guidelines and return to near full capacity beginning May 29, 2021. Per NHL and NBA league guidelines, all guests will continue to be required to wear masks and follow Play It Safe protocols until further notice.”

—  Tricia McCorkle

Today, the team is increasing ticket sales to season ticket holders, Game Plan holders, and Garden Society members. The remaining tickets to the general public will go on sale at a later date. It’s unclear just how many seats will be available, but the team announced the NHL will allow them to return to near full capacity beginning May 29. That will be a big jump from the roughly 4,000 fans that attended the first round of playoff home games.

Last week Head Coach Bruce Cassidy talked about how the fans do make an impact in the game.

“It’s loud because we’re so used to the silence,” Cassidy said. “I can only imagine when we go to full capacity again. The better atmosphere for every sport, right? Home or road, even on the road, it’s better in a full building, and it’s loud, and it’s playoff time. It’s what you want, so it’s good to hear it the other night, and hopefully, it continues to expand the attendance numbers.”

The Bruins are waiting to see who wins the Pittsburgh Penguins-New York Islanders series, which is currently tied at two a-piece. The latest that series could end is Friday night. The Penguins are the higher seed, so if they win, the Bruins go on the road to start the series.

According to NHL guidelines, fans will still have to wear a mask to the game.

The first chance the Celtics would get to play in front of a nearly full crowd would be this Sunday, game four in their series against the Brooklyn Nets.

For more information on TD Garden’s protocols, click here.