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Springfield Thunderbirds Announce Voluntary Suspension for 2020-2021 AHL Season

January 4, 2021 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Springfield Thunderbirds News Release


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.


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