Bakersfield Condors president, Matthew Riley said they’re the only American Hockey League team in California that’s opening up to fans year. Let’s just say that condors fans are breathing a huge sigh of relief or perhaps a cheer.
Mechanics Bank Arena welcomed back nearly 1000 Bakersfield Condors fans Saturday night for a game against the San Diego Gulls.
Longtime fan, Blaine Greenwell said he’s missed seeing his team play in person.
“It’s hard when you’re sitting there yelling at the TV screen, and your family goes, ‘you know they can’t hear you, right?’" Greenwell said. “But now, they can hear us.”
This time around, fans cheered through masks while sitting in the stands. seats are even taped off between parties to encourage physical distancing. Another change in the arena: a clear bag policy and no food. Fans had to purchase concessions and eat them in designated areas on the concourse.
Condors fan and season ticket holder, Esther Chanley-Martinez was also excited to be back at condors games with her wife. she says it’s a little hard to cheer with the masks on but, “There’s a lot more people than I thought there would be. I didn’t think there would be this many people, because I thought they were going to be upset about the mask-wearing about the no food or drink, but it’s really fun,” Chanley-Martinez said. “We get to see all the people we sit by with season tickets. We missed our friends.”
Condors team president Matthew Riley said that having fans back has meant just much to the team as it does the spectators. After all, they did win the game.
“You know when you’ve got fans there, the music and it pumps you up, and it just feeds on everything,” Riley said. “We’ve had a great year on the ice, but now with fans on, we have more of a home ice advantage.”
Games are currently unavailable to the general public. only season ticket holders can attend games at the moment, and they cannot bring guests.