We waited as long as we possibly could, but with today’s announcement from the ECHL regarding a split-season format, we are rescheduling Winterfest to December 2021.
The Walleye were honored to bring the first two ECHL outdoor games to Toledo in 2015. Winterfest was a premier event for our city and our entire community, and we want everyone to be able to experience it. While we hoped not to postpone, we are looking forward to December 2021 when we can bring Winterfest back to Fifth Third Field with even more energy and excitement.
We know you have a lot of questions regarding your tickets, what will it look like when the Walleye return to the Huntington Center and even what is a split-season format. I’ll be honest, I don’t have all the answers today, but I want to walk you through the latest information.
The ECHL and Profession Hockey Players’ Association agreed to play a split-season format. In short, 13 teams will begin a 72-game season on December 11, 2020. The remaining ECHL teams, including your Toledo Walleye, will start their season on January 15, 2021, competing in a 62-game season. Atlanta has elected to sit out due to COVID-19. Click here to see the ECHL's release. Under this scenario, league standings will be based on winning percentage during the regular season, which will conclude on June 6, 2021. The postseason format will be announced at a later date.
Since last March, when the Walleye season was cancelled, our entire focus has been to safely get hockey back into the Huntington Center. Currently, the State of Ohio restricts attendance at indoor entertainment venues, and we know that when the Walleye return to the Huntington Center it will be at a reduced capacity. We continue to work with the Lucas-County Health Department and the State of Ohio to gain a better understanding of seating capacities and to secure State approval to increase the number of fans who can safely attend Walleye games this season.
These are unchartered waters for us and while our team works through all these scenarios, I ask for your continued patience now more than ever. Your Game Plan Consultant will be contacting you soon with more information on the upcoming season. 2020 has been a difficult year for all of us and has hit minor league sports especially hard, but this is Toledo, and we don’t quit. With the support of our FINatics, the best fans in hockey, we’re going to pick ourselves up and get back on the ice.
Our biggest win will be seeing you at the Huntington Center.
Executive Vice President and General Manager