MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota had waited a long time to host the NHL's Winter Classic, and that wait has been extended.
The NHL has postponed the Winter Classic, which was scheduled for Jan. 1, 2021 at Target Field between the St. Louis Blues and the Minnesota Wild. League officials also announced the postponement of the 2021 All-Star Weekend, which was scheduled or Jan. 29-30 in Sunrise, Fla. Both postponements are due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release from the league.
“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,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer in a release. “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 league added that they intend to return both events to Minnesota and Florida in the near future.
The Wild were selected back in February to host the annual outdoor game. It would have been the first time Minnesota had participated in the Winter Classic, and just their second outdoor game. Minnesota hosted the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium in February of 2016 as part of the NHL's Stadium Series.
According to the release, the league is still planning to drop the puck on the regular season on or around Jan. 1, 2021.