NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For super-fan Scott Barry it was the moment he’d been waiting for: cheering on his team in person at an NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff game.
“It’s a lot different when you dress like this to sit on your couch,” said Barry.
The Predators game came as its host city is back open.
”It’s just not the same when you pipe in energy over a speaker for TV purposes as it is when you have 10,000, 12,000, 17,000 fans chanting, cheering, screaming,” said Barry.
“The more that they increase the capacity the louder it gets, the more exciting it gets, the more intense it gets and so I really think that that’s important,” said another Clarkesville woman waiting outside the arena with her grandson.
The playoff game three came a week after Nashville lifted all COVID-19 restrictions including its mask mandate.
“Everybody seems comfortable. I don’t see any sense of odd behavior, anything like that. So I really think they’ve done a great job and it’s been an amazing city by the way,” said Lisa Coleman visiting from Pittsburgh with her husband.
But inside the arena rules still apply. Masks are required at all times except when eating and drinking, and capacity is at 70%.
Still, the game marks a step towards normal and a return to the familiar for fans.
“It was a different year. It was an interesting year, but it’s a lot better to be home. This is home,” said Barry.