ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — The Rochester Amerks welcomed fans back into the Blue Cross Arena downtown for their home opener against the Syracuse Crunch Friday — for the first time in 19 months.
All home openers in sports are special, but this one felt more exciting for everyone since the last time the Amerks played in front of their fan base was March of 2020.
Before the puck dropped fans packed Blue Cross Arena bursting with energy to enjoy LIVE music and pre-game activities, reminding them how special the tradition of this program is for Rochester.
“It’s crazy, we missed Hockey and watch it when we can on TV,” long-time Amerks fan Andy Mannix told us. “I mean that’s not the same as LIVE action.”
“It is great, I have been a season ticket holder for 30 years or more and missed them,” Burt Ewell added.
The Amerks had no trouble welcoming as many people as they could because all fans 12 and older had to show proof of having at least one dose of a Covid vaccine to avoid an outbreak linked to the game.
“This feels closer to normal than I’ve felt in a really long time,” Madisyn Guenot, who came to watch the game all the way from Seneca Falls expressed. “So, it feels good.”
“It just feels a little safer when everyone is vaccinated,” her brother Caden followed with. “And the kids are wearing masks which is good too.”
Mandatory masking only applied to kids under 12. But they believed it was worth it to be able to come to watch their favorite AHL team take the ice again.
“Definitely worth it,” Peyton Carruth, who is under 12 said. “At least we can still come to the games and wear a mask.”
Fans we spoke with felt the process of getting through the line while showing this information was smooth and easy. All helping folks’ inch back to where we were.
“For myself, I also play Hockey, so it just feels good to see someone else play,” Caden stated. because my season got canceled this year.”
Beginning Nov. 3rd all fans eligible will need to show proof they are fully vaccinated to get into games while kids under 12 will continue to have to wear masks with no exemptions offered. The Amerks are back in action on Nov. 3. against the Senators.