Adirondack Thunder calls off 2020-21 season
GLENS FALLS — The Adirondack Thunder pulled the plug on their 2020-21 season on Wednesday.
In a press release, the Thunder announced that they would opt out of the season along with the rest of the ECHL’s North Division. The decision was made in light of the coronavirus pandemic and state restrictions on fans attending events.
“We were hopeful that government restrictions would ease up as we approached the time we needed to declare our formal intentions for the season,” the Thunder said in their press release. “Unfortunately, we are unable to have any fans in attendance for the foreseeable future and cannot sustain a season without fans.”
The Thunder and other North Division teams had previously pushed back the start of the season to Jan. 15 with a reduced 62-game schedule. But even that became untenable in recent days.
“We knew this season would be a challenge regardless of any state restrictions on fans in the arena,” the team said in its press release. “We had worked on numerous contingency plans to socially distance fans and to ensure a clean, safe environment, and to fully abide by all state-imposed guidelines. We were ready to play at a 50% capacity, knowing it would be difficult to operate at that capacity.”
Thunder president Jeff Mead and head coach Alex Loh are scheduled to address fans and answer questions in a Facebook live session on Thursday at noon. The team said season ticket holders’ payments will automatically be shifted to the 2021-22 season. Fans with questions or concerns can contact the team at 518-480-3355, extension 319.
“As we continue to navigate the continually changing regulations across North America, we recognize the difficult nature of this decision,” ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin said in a press release. “While some of our teams’ host cities have allowed upcoming plans to include fans inside arenas, we unfortunately do not see the same path for these highly-affected areas in the Northeast.”
The ECHL said all players in the North Division, including the Thunder, are now free agents for the remainder of this season.