Pandemic Cancels Season for QC Storm
The pandemic has claimed another casualty - Tuesday the Quad City Storm announced the team will have to sit out the upcoming hockey season.
Spokesman Brian Rothenberger says current rules in Illinois mean there could only be 50 people in the TaxSlayer Center for a game.
"That would account for our players and our staff and maybe a couple ushers. We need to have around 2,000 to 2,500 fans in the building for us to be successful from a business standpoint. And we have seen nothing that would give us the indication that is a possibility come December, or even in the early spring of next year."
Also sitting out the upcoming season, and for the same reason, are four other members of the Southern Professional Hockey League - the Peoria Rivermen, Roanoke Railyard Dawgs, Evansville Thunderbolts, and Fayetteville Marksmen. The other five teams will try to play a regular season, starting in December.
Rothenberger says missing the season will affect a lot of people, and not just the Storm players.
"If you count the building staff too, I would say for the Quad City Storm somewhere between 40 to 50 people. If you count the folks that work here as ushers for us and the building staff, it's hundreds of people. Multiply that by the teams in the league not able to do it and there are a ton of people impacted."
Storm players will be able to play for the five "surviving" teams this season, but Rothenberger worries there'll be few if any openings, and they'll have to find jobs, and some will be forced to retire early.
The Storm plan to resume normal operations for the 2021-22 season.