AHL Delays Start of 2020-21 Season to February 5th

Oct 28, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO Scott Howson has announced that the league’s Board of Governors has approved moving the anticipated start date of the 2020-21 season to February 5, 2021, due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

The AHL continues to work with its member clubs to monitor developments and local guidelines in all 31 league cities. Further details regarding the 2020-21 American Hockey League season are still to be determined.

In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.


Letter from Thunderbirds President, Nate Costa:

Dear Thunderbirds Fans,

We here at the Thunderbirds hope you were able to enjoy your summer and that your family and friends have remained healthy and safe during these times. With the changing leaves and the chill of autumn air, we would normally be looking forward to seeing all of you at the MassMutual Center for the start of T-Birds hockey and introducing you to many new faces as we begin an exciting new relationship with the St. Louis Blues.  Since the suspension of the 2019-20 season, we have been eagerly anticipating a successful start to the upcoming season and planning along the adjusted timeline when it was announced by the American Hockey League earlier in the summer that the season would not begin prior to December 4th. Unfortunately, in this constantly evolving world, I regret to inform you that, after careful consideration by all parties involved, it has been determined by the AHL to delay once again, in the best interest of player, staff, and fan safety, with a target date to begin the season February 5th.

To say I am disappointed is an understatement. Since we started in 2016, it has been our pleasure to host you each and every night and bring an exciting environment to downtown Springfield, which continues to be our mission when the time is right to do so.  I can tell you that we share the frustration that many of you are experiencing on a daily basis as this has been a very challenging time for our organization.  While there has not been a great deal of news lately, we have continued to stay in regular communication over the last several months with the AHL, the St. Louis Blues, as well as with state and local officials to ensure we can return to play safely.

Trust me, I can’t wait to see you all, but in the mean time we remain involved in the local community which may allow our paths to cross.    Throughout the month of November, we will be holding a food drive, allowing us to come together by receiving non-perishable food items and monetary donations here at the office which will benefit local organizations.  In addition, please visit Bright Nights where you may catch a glimpse of everybody’s favorite Mascot, Boomer, greeting guests as they enter Forest Park on select dates.  And don’t forget to join us tomorrow evening at 6PM as we hear from new Head Coach Drew Bannister on Facebook Live for another T-Birds Town Hall.


Thank you and let’s go T-Birds.

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Nathan Costa
President, Springfield Thunderbirds

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