JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sports leagues all around the world have been shut down by the coronavirus pandemic, but some are beginning to make plans to start their seasons once it’s safe to do so.
In Jacksonville, the Icemen are already looking ahead to dropping the puck. On Tuesday, the Icemen put out their home schedule for the 2020-21 season. With the 2019-20 ECHL season canceled, this is actually earlier than they ordinarily would.
“It’s a few weeks early for the schedule, probably about a month early," Icemen president Bob Ohrablo said. The league worked with us. They knew it was important for us to get the schedule as soon as possible so we’ve been working on it for about four weeks.”
Ohrablo calls the schedule the best one they’ve had -- 27 of the 36 home games are on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, which is all the more impressive because they have to work around other events at the arena that are being rescheduled because of the pandemic.
Here’s where other leagues are right now:
The NFL is expecting to hold its season on time. The schedule is expected to be released on May 9.
College football is expecting to begin on time, but that could change based on the conditions of the pandemic.
Major League Baseball paused the season before opening day. There’s no word on when the season would get started.
National Hockey League players are quarantined until Thursday. After that, some could begin training, depending on where they live.
The PGA Tour has targeted a June 11 restart for the season at Colonial County Club in Texas, albeit, without fans.
And NASCAR has canceled all races until May 16. They have not confirmed that they’ll restart the season on that day when the All-Star Race is scheduled at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
In any event, the plans that all of these leagues have made will be contingent on local and national governments easing restrictions on large gatherings.
In other words: It’s all still a plan until those dates arrive.