Attention sports fans who think the next season for your favorite professional team will be back to normal: It won’t be, at least not in the NHL. On Thursday the National Hockey League announced that the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and the 2021 Honda NHL Weekend have been postponed. The reason? You guessed it, because of the “ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus.”
This is a disappointment for hockey fans in Minnesota, where the Winter Classic was supposed to take place between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues at Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins. That would have been a spectacular sight, with the Minneapolis skyline lit up in the background and 35,000 fans bundled up in Arctic conditions. Unfortunately, the All-Star Weekend in the Miami area at the home of the Florida Panthers, in much warmer conditions, will not be happening either.
NHL Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer explained the reasoning for calling off the events.
“Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time was to postpone these celebrations until 2022, when our fans should be able to enjoy and celebrate these tentpole events in person, as they were always intended.”
The good news for Minneapolis and Miami? The NHL promised to come back in the “near future.” As for when the puck will drop on the next season, the league intends to stick with its Jan. 1 date. For now.