Binghamton Devils Prepare for Potential February 5th Start Date
After talk of a potential December start for the 2020-2021 season, the American Hockey League announced this week that they are aiming for a February 5th start to the season. As with every other AHL, this decision makes a big impact on the Binghamton Devils.
“It’s disappointing and everything but it is what it is,” says Binghamton Devils Executive Vice President of Operations Tom Mitchell. “The whole world is going through the pandemic and it affects us like it affects everybody else.”
2020 has been a tough year financially on professional sports teams and the Binghamton Devils are no exception. Like most organizations, since playing their last game in March the Devils have had to furlough a number of employees but have been able to keep their offices open through the pandemic. Mitchell says it’s nice to have a date to aim for now, but there’s still many unknowns.
“How do you do a team budget if you don’t know the number of games you’re going to be playing, the number of road trips,” says Mitchell. “Things like that, the revenue streams as well. You can’t do it, you can’t do it accurately.”
Mitchell says if the season starts without Binghamton being able to have fans, they’ll have to get creative financially including possibly looking to their NHL partners in New Jersey for assistance.
As for what this unorthodox season might look like, Mitchell says everything is on the table for the AHL.
“I know they’re looking at different numbers of games and if the divisions are a little bit different for one reason or another one division maybe could play more games than others,” says Mitchell.
Until more is known, local hockey fans have no choice but to continue to play the waiting game.
“Patience is the word,” says Mitchell. “These are tough times for not only the hockey business but for every business.”