Fans of Canadiens, Maple Leafs breathe life back into Bell Centre

The Bell Centre had Canadiens and visiting Maple Leafs fans sing the national anthem after going two seasons without fans being allowed in the building.

There's life at the Bell Centre.

Pulsating with cheers, jeers, booing and singing, roughly 2,500 fans were allowed inside to watch the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs play Game 6 of their first-round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- the first time since March 2020 that the building has had spectators.

The game was on way before puck drop. From outside the Canadiens' arena, fans from both teams gathered to share the high of being part of the NHL again. An elimination game in one of the fiercest rivalries in hockey was the perfect framework for the homecoming.

It was neither cheap nor easy for Canadiens and Maple Leafs fans to secure their spot in the arena. The Canadiens gave priority to season-ticket holders, luxury-suite holders, and corporate partners to purchase tickets in pods of two or four. The cheapest seats available hovered around $1,500.

The closest seats to the ice are seven rows up and fans must social distance while in the arena.

But the mandate apparently hasn't stopped things from getting weird.

All of it for a chance to be part of history.

The Maple Leafs and Canadiens meet up for a decisive Game 7 on Monday in Toronto.

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