WICHITA, Kan. – The 28th home opener for the Wichita Thunder will have to wait a little while longer. Earlier this week, Sedgwick County adopted a new health order that limits all mass gatherings (outside of restaurants, retail stores and churches) to just 25 people, as cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in south-central Kansas.
Friday, the organization announced a revised schedule for the first nine games of the season. The Thunder will open the season on the road in Tulsa on Friday, December 11, and the first home game will be on New Year’s Day against Allen, with the teams in the midst of a three-game set.
The schedule for the first nine games is below, home games are in bold:
December 11 at Tulsa
December 26 at Kansas City
December 31 at Allen
January 1 vs. Allen
January 2 vs. Allen
January 5 at Kansas City
January 8 vs. Kansas City
January 9 vs. Kansas City
January 10 vs. Kansas City
Currently, it is not known whether fans will be allowed inside INTRUST Bank Arena for the games through January 9, which is the date the current health order expires.
There are some changes to this schedule, as compared to the previous 10-game slate released on October 15. Wichita will not make the journey up to Rapid City to play the Rush for three games on January 6, 8, 9 as previously scheduled. Those are now home games against the Kansas City Mavericks.
With only one game before December 26, the Thunder now plans to open training camp on Monday, December 7 in order to follow ECHL safety protocols.
In spite of the current surge in COVID-19 cases and restrictions on mass gatherings, the Thunder says they are committed to playing the full 2020-21 ECHL season, which will begin with a five-game slate on Friday, December 11.
For the latest news on the Wichita Thunder, follow Matthew Harding and Matthew Will on Twitter @SinBinThunder.