KALAMAZOO — After originally planning to kick off the 2020-21 season on Jan. 15, the Kalamazoo Wings today announced that it will suspend operations and forgo the entire year of hockey.
“After several months of planning, monitoring public health guidelines and agreeing on an initial return-to-play date, this was an extremely difficult decision to make,” K-Wings Governor and Director of Business Operations Toni Will said in a statement.
“Our top priority has always been the health and safety of our fans, players, coaches and staff at Wings Event Center, and we determined it was in the best interest of our hockey community to sit out this season. We will immediately start planning for the 2021-22 season.”
In an interview with MiBiz earlier this month, Will was optimistic that the ECHL team would be back to the ice for a new season this year. Will said the organization expected to return on Jan. 15 with the potential for roughly 500 fans allowed into the 5,100-person capacity Wings Event Center.
The team expected roughly 500 season ticket holders for the upcoming season.
“We will be communicating directly with our valued season ticket holders and corporate partners in the coming days, and want to thank all of our wonderful fans for their support during what has been a difficult year,” Will added. “We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to Wings Event Center when we drop the puck next October.”
The K-Wings were not alone in their announcement. The Cincinnati Cyclones and Idaho Steelheads also announced today that they would forgo their seasons. They join a growing list of teams from around the league that will not play this year.