The NHL has officially postponed both the 2021 Winter Classic and 2021 All-Star Weekend due to the lack of fan participation and attendance that will be possible. The league has not changed their previous target of January 1 as a potential start date for the upcoming season, though that is obviously still not confirmed at this point.
The Winter Classic was scheduled to be held at Target Field in Minneapolis and was to feature the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues. The Florida Panthers were set to host the All-Star Weekend at the end of January. The league intends to return to both locations for the respective events “in the near future” and lists 2022 as a target.
In the release, they included this statement from NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer:
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. 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.
It was always very unlikely that either event would be able to proceed as planned given the delayed start and condensed schedule that next season will have to work under.