As fall sports continue to get postponed until the spring or, in some cases, outright canceled, focus is beginning to turn to COVID-19’s impact on college hockey. Denver is scheduled to travel to Arizona State October 9th – less than two months from now – for their first non-conference series and return to Magness Arena for their opener against Air Force on October 24th. As a member of the Pac-12, which just postponed football yesterday and has postponed all Fall sports until January 1 at the earliest, ASU’s schedule is already more in doubt than most others in the college hockey world.
The issues facing the reopening of college hockey in the COVID-19 era are the same as football but, perhaps, more complex because they play indoors. Some of the issues are addressed in the NCHC Zoom feature below:
Full 🎥👉 https://t.co/RBGcpIgLhU
— The NCHC (@TheNCHC) July 27, 2020
As it stands now, expect college hockey to follow a similar trajectory as football and other fall sports. While there is nothing official, with puck drop less than two months away and zero indication that we’re getting this pandemic under control, expect the NCHC and other conferences to change their schedules to conference-only contests starting January 1, 2021, at the very earliest. However, without the wide availability of an effective vaccine by that time, it’s hard to see hockey even playing this season which would have far-reaching, serious effects on the sport for years. Add crowd restrictions and falling stadium revenue to the cost of operations along with travel and the future of college hockey for the 2020-2021 season appears bleak.
With less than two months to go before puck drop and the pandemic continuing to rage and ravage the country, the college hockey season is at great risk.