More than 1,000 San Jose Sharks fans were in attendance at SAP Center yesterday (Wednesday) as the NHL ice hockey team this week welcomed supporters back to the arena for the first time in over a year.

The official attendance for the Sharks’ 4-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes was 1,037. Arena sponsor SAP donated 500 tickets to frontline workers for the game in recognition of their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SAP Center has a capacity of around 17,500 and the arena welcomed around 600 fans on Monday night for the visit of the Coyotes. San Jose-based newspaper The Mercury News reported that the Sharks may look to further increase attendance by another few hundred for the May 3 game against Colorado Avalanche.

Prior to Monday night’s game, the last time that Sharks fans attended SAP Center was March 8, 2020. The arena has reopened at limited capacity after recently achieving the GBAC STAR Accreditation, which is awarded to select venues that have established procedures to prepare, respond, and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.

Fans attending games at SAP Center will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of receiving a complete vaccination, with the final dose received at least two weeks prior to the day of the game.

The Sharks have partnered with Total Testing Solutions to provide a way for ticketed fans to receive a complimentary COVID-19 test, 48-72 hours prior to the game they plan to attend. Fans must pre-register for testing and book an appointment.

A number of safety protocols will also be enforced inside the arena, including face coverings except when actively eating or drinking. No bags will be allowed except for medical reasons, with tickets to be sold in pods of two or four seats with six feet of physical distance. Contactless transactions will also be in place.

Image: Travis Wise/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size