The National Hockey League announced on they have postponed the 2021 Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend surrounding the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.
NHL announces postponement of Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend. https://t.co/sOcHxLGDtz #WinterClassic #NHLAllStar pic.twitter.com/eYDzN8WBiC
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 22, 2020
2021 Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend Postponed
While this does not come as a shock it is still disappointing that two of the league’s biggest events of the season had to be postponed. With the NHL only returning back in August and finishing in early October, the NHL had to redesign its schedule for the 2020-21 season. Unfortunately, events like the Winter Classic and All-Star Game were going to be nixed for this season. The 2021 version of the Bridgestone Winter Classic featured a matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild. The Wild were hosting the event inside Target Field. The spotlight was going to be on Minnesota and the “State of Hockey.”
An event like this not only helps the revenue for the NHL and NHLPA but also helps the local economy as well. It brings in people from around the country and they support the local businesses. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, fans cannot travel to various cities to watch the game. It was just too risky.
Another moneymaker for the NHL is the Honda NHL All-Star Game. The 2021 version of the event was going to be hosted by the Florida Panthers. With the event being be held at the BB&T Arena in Sunrise, Florida. Originally scheduled for the weekend of January 29-30, 2021, the league again had to scratch the event this season because of COVID-19. Just like with the Winter Classic, the league makes money with All-Star Weekend. But with fans most likely not being allowed in the building they could not hold such an event. Not to mention, with the season starting later than normal there was no way this event was going to happen anyway.
According to the NHL and NHLPA, they are still on track and focused on a January 1st start. However, this is all subject to change. The NHL has the intention of returning to Minnesota and Florida for their signature events in the near future. That will only be done when they are to fill stadiums again.
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