Columbus Blue Jackets seeking to host more fans at home this season

The Columbus Blue Jackets could yet play in front of home fans this season.

The NHL club announced Thursday it has presented a plan to the local health department that was approved, meaning it goes to the Ohio Department of Health for final approval.

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The plan would call for attendance to be limited to 10 percent of Nationwide Arena’s capacity, or 1,953 fans.

“We have spent a great deal of time and effort to provide a framework for fans to safely return to Nationwide Arena this season and appreciate the work of our local health officials throughout this process to date,” the team said in a release.

“We are excited about the possibility of The 5th Line back at Nationwide Arena and look forward to hearing from state officials in the near future. Should final approval be granted, we anticipate final preparations to welcome fans back to the arena to take at least one week.”

ODH released an order in August defining how many fans are allowed at sporting events (depending on type and size of venue) with a provision allowing teams to apply for a variance.

In December, the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers were granted a variance to allow 10 percent of capacity of their arena that is roughly the same size as NWA.

The University of Dayton notified season-ticket holders last month it had seen “numerous variance requests” denied and would continue to allow a group of 300 or smaller into UD Arena for Flyers games.

The ODH order released in late August limits venues to 15 percent of capacity or a maximum of 300 indoors.

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