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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Cyclones Hockey Team Opts Out Of 2020-21 Season Due To COVID

Ann Thompson

The Cincinnati Cyclones on Monday announced the team will opt out of competition for the 2020-2021 season.  The team says it plans to return to play for the 2021-2022 season as part of the ECHL's COVID-19 Voluntary Suspension policy.

Ohio guidelines would allow only 300 people in the Heritage Bank Center, including players, coaches, vendors and fans. The team says this would make it financially impossible to ice a team.

"After much consideration and discussion, we have decided it is in the best interest of our players, fans and the organization as a whole to opt out of the 2020-2021 ECHL season," said Cyclones Governor Ray Harris. 

"Today is a difficult day for everyone in the Cyclones organization," said Cyclones Alternate Governor and General Manager Kristin Ropp. "We pride ourselves in being a staple of affordable family fun in the Cincinnati Community and look forward to the day when Cyclones fans can safely return to Heritage Bank Center." 

Maryanne Zeleznik is responsible for all news and public affairs programming at WVXU. She also hosts Morning Edition Monday through Friday.