Evansville Thunderbolts opting out of season

Sports

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- Tough news for Evansville hockey fans: the Thunderbolts announced they will not take the ice this winter.

“It was not one single COVID-19 pandemic factor that determined the decision but a combination of COVID-19 restrictions, safety of players, and projected financial increases of travel, testing, extra apartments and other precautionary expenses. We are fully committed to the Thunderbolts coming back for the 2021-2022 season

Scott Schoenike, Evansville Thunderbolts Team President

The Thunderbolts are one of several teams to skip the SPHL season this winter, but the league plans to keep playing with five teams over a 42 game season. This is not the first time the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has interfered with the SPHL, after the league had to abandon the 2019-2020 season in March.

SPHL Commissioner Doug Price says the league waited as long as possible for things to improve so all teams could play, but that did not happen. The SPHL season will begin December 26 with the Birmingham Bulls, Huntsville Havoc, Knoxville Ice Bears, Macon Mayhem and Pensacola Ice Flyers set to play.

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(This story was originally published on October 6, 2020)

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