The NHL postponed both the 2021 Winter Classic and All-Star game scheduled for next season. Citing uncertainties surrounding hosting fans at these events, the league felt it was not worth it to hold those events.
"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 on the league's website. "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."
Still, the league noted that this announcement does not impact the target date of Jan. 1 to start the 2021 season. That opening game, if held on New Year's Day, won't be played outside for the first time since the inception of the Winter Classic in 2008.
The Winter Classic was scheduled to be played between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. Likewise, NHL All-Star weekend was slated for Jan. 29-30 in Sunrise, Fla. and to be hosted by the Florida Panthers.