UND has moved its Nashville game back a year.
UND will now play Penn State in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Oct. 30, 2021, in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game.
The 2021 event will essentially be the same: same opponent, same city, same building and same pregame parties in the same spots. It will just be a year later than planned.
The game was originally slated to be played this October, but is being altered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Both mobile and paper tickets for the 2020 game will be honored in 2021. Fans who would like a refund will be allowed to get one through Ticketmaster in the next 30 days.
"We have been closely monitoring the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and have tried to work through multiple scenarios, but after much consideration, we have made the decision to officially postpone the Nashville event and rescheduled it to October 30, 2021," said Ralph Engelstad Arena Jody Hodgson, who has taken the lead in organizing the event. "We are still going to Nashville, we're just going a year later than we had originally planned. The philosophy that the show must go no is in our DNA and we never imagined postponing this event only a few short months ago. However, postponing the event is clearly the most prudent thing to do based on the information available to us today. All of our options were complicated and uncertain. We tried to approach it in a methodical way and think we've done that."
UND and Ralph Engelstad Arena obtained the rights to the 2021 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game from the Xcel Energy Center, meaning UND will play host to the event for five consecutive years.
It played the 2018 event in Las Vegas and 2019 in Grand Forks.
UND is still planning to play the 2020 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game on Oct. 17, but it will occur in Grand Forks and the opponent will not be Penn State. UND says it is working on landing an opponent for that game. Ticket details will be announced when the event is confirmed. Season-ticket holders will have the first right of refusal for their season in their season-ticket package.
The 2021 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game will be in Nashville, while UND is in the planning stages for the 2022 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game, which is expected to take place in Las Vegas or Seattle.
UND's destination games -- from the 2016 event in New York City's Madison Square Garden to the 2018 event in Vegas to the 2020 Nashville game -- have become increasingly popular among fans.
"The Nashville game is not a normal regular-season game because of all that is involved with a destination event, including the extensive travel required for fans that have already purchased game tickets," said UND athletic director Bill Chaves. "With tickets sold to UND fans in 45 of 50 states and five of 10 Canadian provinces, our destination games have become national events and our fans deserve the opportunity to gather and celebrate en masse without limitation, restriction or fear for their health and safety. We believe that moving the Nashville game to October of 2021 was the only way to check all of the boxes necessary to have another great destination event.
"We intend to continue to be patient with the rest of the 2020-21 schedule while the pandemic evolves, but felt it was imperative to give our fans at least 90 days of advance notice for the Nashville destination game."
UND coach Brad Berry said in a statement: "Our hockey program is very much looking forward to the rescheduled Hall of Fame Game in Nashville. We are grateful to our loyal and passionate fans that will proudly participate in this unforgettable experience with us. Thank you for your patience and understanding."
The Nashville game is the second-known alteration to UND's 2020-21 schedule due to the pandemic.
A series at Cornell, scheduled for Oct. 30-31, won't be played as planned because the Ivy Leagues have stated they won't play any sporting events before January.
Hotel reservation information
All room reservations made through the Nashville Hall of Fame Game website and the Passkey system will be automatically and electronically canceled for the original 2020 dates. There is no mechanism to automatically transfer hotel rooms from one year to the next with the official event housing service. All fans who reserved rooms directly through the event’s housing service will be receiving a hotel reservation cancellation acknowledgement via email in the days ahead with more details.
All reservations made outside the Passkey system will have to be made with the properties themselves.
The Hall of Fame Game website, theralph.com/nashville will open a new portal for fans to book rooms for the 2021 event at 2 p.m. Central on Aug. 13.