The NHL on Thursday announced the postponement of the 2021 All-Star Game and the 2021 Winter Classic for COVID-19 reasons.
The All-Star Game and All-Star Weekend activities were scheduled for Jan. 29-30 in Sunrise, Fla., the home of the Florida Panthers. The Winter Classic was slated for Jan. 1 with the Minnesota Wild facing the St. Louis Blues at Target Field in Minneapolis.
The NHL said the postponements were “due to the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus.”
The league said it intends to return those events to the two cities in the near future.
“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,” NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer 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 NHL reiterated Thursday that it is aiming to start the season around Jan. 1. The league’s general managers are slated to meet on Friday to discuss topics pertaining to the start date as well as other things.