Springfield Thunderbirds Announce Voluntary Suspension for 2020-2021 AHL Season
Springfield, MA - Today, the Springfield Thunderbirds announced that they are one of three AHL franchises that have elected to opt out of play for the upcoming 2020-2021 season. The decision, made in conjunction with their NHL Affiliate, the St. Louis Blues, was based on numerous safety and logistical concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and will allow the organization to turn its full focus towards the 2021-22 season. The Thunderbirds will maintain their status as active members of the AHL and return to play next season.
Thunderbirds President, Nathan Costa offered the following statement about the decision:
"Over the past few months we have worked tirelessly with the St. Louis Blues to explore every possible avenue for returning to play this season. Unfortunately, due to health and safety concerns, travel logistics, new player supply rules, and other considerations the Blues and Thunderbirds collectively determined that it was in the best interests of all parties to opt out for this season. Given the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts, it has also become clear that we will be unable to host fans at our games in the foreseeable future. As an independently-owned franchise, our foremost obligation is to ensure that our team is financially viable for the long term, something that is not possible without gameday revenue. Our organization has built one of the most exciting stories in all of professional hockey and remains as committed as ever to building upon that success in Springfield. We continue to have a strong relationship with the St. Louis Blues, the City of Springfield, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, and all those who have both been helpful and supportive during this time. We have already turned our attention to next season and are actively working with the Blues, our season ticket holders, and corporate partners to ensure that 2021-2022 is our strongest season yet."
A statement released by St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations/General Manager Doug Armstrong said, "professional sports have been impacted by the inability to open arenas and facilities to their fans. That is particularly true at the minor professional level where fan attendance is the lifeblood of business operations. We were truly excited to come to Springfield this season and are disappointed that COVID-19 has prevented this from happening. We look forward to working with the Thunderbirds in the 2021-22 season and beyond."
For more information or to become a 2021-2022 Springfield Thunderbirds ticket member, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.
• Discuss this story on the American Hockey League message board...
American Hockey League Stories from January 4, 2021
- 28 Teams to Participate in 2020-21 American Hockey League Season - Toronto Marlies
- Griffins to Return to Play in February - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Heat Among 28 AHL Teams Participating in 2021 Season - Stockton Heat
- Checkers will not participate in 2020-21 AHL Season - Charlotte Checkers
- Chicago Wolves, American Hockey League Ready to Play - Chicago Wolves
- 2020-2021 AHL Season Starts February 5 - Tucson Roadrunners
- San Diego Gulls Statement on Participation in 2020-21 Season - San Diego Gulls
- Canucks & Blues to Share AHL Affiliate Utica Comets - Utica Comets
- Ontario Reign to Play 2020-21 AHL Season - Ontario Reign
- AHL Announces 20-21 Season Details - Ontario Reign
- 28 Teams to Participate in 2020-21 AHL Season Including IceHogs - Rockford IceHogs
- 28 Teams to Participate in 2020-21 American Hockey League Season - San Jose Barracuda
- Colorado Eagles to Begin 2020-21 AHL Season February 5th - Colorado Eagles
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Among 28 Teams to Participate in 2020-21 American Hockey League Season - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Providence Bruins Announce Details for 2020-21 Season - Providence Bruins
- 28 Teams to Participate in 2020-21 American Hockey League Season - Hershey Bears
- 28 Teams to Participate in 2020-21 American Hockey League Season - Syracuse Crunch
- Amerks Among American Hockey League's Return to Play Plan for 2020-21 Season - Rochester Americans
- Comets One of 28 Teams to Participate in 2020-21 American Hockey League Season - Utica Comets
- Admirals Opt out of 2020-21 AHL Season - Milwaukee Admirals
- 28 Teams to Participate in 2020-21 American Hockey League Season - AHL
- Springfield Thunderbirds Announce Voluntary Suspension for 2020-2021 AHL Season - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Chicago Blackhawks Training Camp Roster Packed with IceHogs - Rockford IceHogs
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Springfield Thunderbirds Stories
- Springfield Thunderbirds Announce Voluntary Suspension for 2020-2021 AHL Season
- Thunderbirds Donate over 1,000 Stuffed Animals
- Thunderbirds Foundation Donates $15,000 to the Rays of Hope
- Thunderbirds Honored by AHL for Ticket Sales Excellence
- American Hockey League Cancels Remainder of 19-20 Season