The NHL postponed the 2021 Winter Classic and the 2021 All-Star Weekend over concerns about how prevalent the coronavirus will be next year.
The Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues were supposed to play at the Bridgestone Winter Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis – the home of MLB’s Minnesota Twins – on Jan. 1. The Florida Panthers were set to host Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.
“Fan participation, both in arenas and stadiums as well as in the ancillary venues and events that we stage around the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend, is integral to the success of our signature events,” Steve Mayer, the league’s senior executive vice president and chief content officer said in a statement.
“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. We are also considering several new and creative events that will allow our fans to engage with our games and teams during this upcoming season.”
The league said the events were set to be rescheduled for the near future.
The NHL said it was still targeting Jan. 1 as the start of the 2020-21 regular season. The league was forced to postpone a portion of the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The NHL set up two bubbles in Canada to restart the season. The Stanley Cup was also awarded in the bubble as well.