SPHL delays start of season

The Southern Professional Hockey League on Tuesday announced that it is targeting mid-to-late December for the start of the 2020-21 regular season. The Knoxville Ice Bears belong to the SPHL, and had their season, along with so many others canceled back in March due to the pandemic.

In an announcement on the SPHL website, officials say it was a difficult decision to delay the season but called it “the responsible thing to do.”

The regular-season schedule and playoff format will be announced at a later date.

(SPHL statement) The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) today announced that it is targeting mid-to-late December for the start of the 2020-2021 regular season.

With the continued spikes in COVID-19 throughout the country and the challenges other sports are facing in their attempts to resume play, delaying our start to December gives us the best chance of completing an entire season with all 10 teams,” stated Commissioner Doug Price. “In addition, various state restrictions on large gatherings and the economics surrounding the uncertainty of having fans in our arenas in October or November, even at reduced capacity, make it difficult for teams to guarantee the ability to generate the revenue needed to operate if we were to start any earlier.”

After a healthy discussion among our Board of Governors, we just felt there are too many variables out of our control at this time to attempt starting on time,” added Price. “Delaying the season was a difficult decision, but I believe it was the responsible thing to do when taking everything into consideration.” The 2020-2021 regular season schedule and playoff format will be announced at a later date.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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