Kelowna Rockets ready to open preseason before live crowd

Rockets ready for puck drop

Madison Erhardt

The Kelowna Rockets are ready to welcome fans back into the stands for the first time since March 2020.

The Rockets are set to face off at home against the Victoria Royals in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday.

The team will finish the preseason against the Kamloops Blazers back in Kelowna on September 25.

Approximately 3,300 fans will be able to attend per game.

All fans attending will need to show proof of vaccination and masks will be required.

“I think the biggest thing is going to be, and I don’t think I know, is going to be patience at the start here because of the people that are going to be processing your tickets and processing the information. They are just doing their job. Fans may want to get there a little earlier," said Rockets president and general manager Bruce Hamilton.

“I am excited. We have three games to get things sorted out so how long this will last we will wait and see.”

The Rockets say season-ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase their seats for the three home preseason dates.

Hamilton says everyone involved is anxious for puck drop.

“It has been a while. I think the players are probably even more excited than me simply because the guys that played in the hub last year was bizarre. The only people in the building were the 30 or 40 NHL scouts and the game crew and that was it.'

"Now you are going to have some fans in here. People are going to get after you a bit. They are going to expect you to play hard. That was the unique thing about the hub was that if you had a bad shift you would only hear from it from the coaches. I think that fans are just excited to get out and get into a setting where it is social," he added.

Hamilton says fans can expect the team to be a lot better disciplined than in years past.

All three games start at 7:05 p.m.

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