The Wild will play host to the Winter Classic at Target Field at some point but, not surprisingly, it won’t be on Jan. 1, 2021. As expected, the NHL announced Thursday that the game between the Wild and St. Louis Blues has been postponed because of the “ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus.”
The league also announced the postponement of the NHL All-Star Weekend on Jan. 29-30 that was to have been hosted by the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. The NHL does intend to return to both Minnesota and Florida for these events “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 senior executive vice president 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 said that the postponement of the two events does not impact the fact that the league and players association continues to target on or around Jan. 1 as the start date for the upcoming season.