ECHL’s North Division enacts COVID voluntary suspension and plans 2021-22 return
The Reading Royals (@readingroyals) have announced the team will opt out of competition in the 2020-21 season under the ECHL’s COVID Voluntary Suspension Policy. The Royals will return for the team’s 20th anniversary season in 2021-22.
All six ECHL North Division teams – Adirondack, Brampton, Maine, Newfoundland, Reading and Worcester – opted out for the 2020-21 campaign.
General Manager David Farrar: “We have determined that in the best interest of community safety and the Royals’ long-term success, it is necessary to turn our focus towards 2021-22. We will be back for our 20th anniversary season and know Berks County will rally around our team once fans are allowed back in the building. The Royals have been a staple in this community for two decades and we look forward to providing our fan base a top-notch and affordable family-friendly experience when we return to the ice.”
The Royals rely on ticket and sponsorship revenue and current government restrictions hinder the team’s ability to conduct business.
Head Coach Kirk MacDonald: “COVID-19 has affected all of us in Berks County and that includes professional sports. Today is difficult day for everyone in the Royals organization, from the players and coaching staff to everyone in our front office. Although the decision for the Royals to sit out the 2020-21 season is a difficult one, we know it is right. We will now begin to focus our attention on the 2021-22 season and continue to build on the solid foundation the Royals and BCCCA established during the 2019-20 season. Can’t wait to see everyone next October!”
The Royals staff will be in touch with all 2020-21 plan holders to discuss membership options in the coming weeks.
BCCCA oversees the operation of Santander Arena and the Santander Arena Performing Arts Center. Founded in 1996, the BCCCA has helped transform Santander Arena into a premier entertainment venue in Berks County and eastern Pennsylvania. Since its construction in 2001, Santander Arena has been Berks County’s show place for sporting events and entertainment, hosting more than 6 million people for Royals games, athletic events, concerts, conventions and public gatherings. More than 3 million fans have watched Reading Royals hockey since the team began play in the 2001-02 season.