MINNEAPOLIS — Well before the start of the 2021 season in the NHL, big events are getting postponed.
On Thursday, the NHL announced that the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend would be postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Winter Classic was set to be played at Target Field in Minneapolis on Jan. 1, 2021 and feature the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild. This would have been the second Winter Classic the Blues had participated in, after hosting the event in 2017 at Busch Stadium.
The 2020 All-Star Weekend was set to be held in Sunrise, Florida from Jan. 29-30, 2021.
The NHL said it intends to play these events at these locations sometime in the 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 Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer said. "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 said it is still focused on a target date of Jan. 1, 2021 to begin next season.