Breaking: UMass system announces no fans will be allowed at Mullins Center this weekend

The Hockey East quarterfinals will go on without fans due to coronavirus concerns


Nina Walat/Daily Collegian

By Liam Flaherty, Assistant Sports Editor

The Massachusetts hockey team’s playoff series against Northeastern this weekend will be played without fans inside the Mullins Center, per a system-wide statement on Thursday afternoon.

Due to the growing, wide-spread concerns related to coronavirus, only credentialed media personnel will be allowed inside the arena, along with student-athlete family members and official team party members. The decision was made in conjunction with Hockey East and UMass Lowell.

Aside from the attendance ban, all UMass hockey events will occur as regularly scheduled. The series is set to run with Game 1 on Friday, Game 2 on Saturday and Game 3 on Sunday if necessary.

The development arrived just hours after the entire UMass system announced that each of the five campuses will be turning to remote classes for an undetermined period following spring break.

According to the statement, fans who purchased game tickets should expect an email from the UMass Athletic Ticket Office with further information on how the refund process will unfold.

On Tuesday, junior winger John Leonard spoke about the possibility of playing in front of no fans.

“We’re going to have to create our own energy,” Leonard said following practice before the announcement went public on Thursday. “Obviously, students are going to be on break. It’s obviously a big advantage playing at home but were going to have to create our own energy.”

With the decision to have limited spectators, UMass joins Rensselaer, Cornell and Penn State as schools that have closed their doors to fans.

Liam Flaherty can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @_LiamFlaherty.