The decision to take the show to the Latvian capital was announced on Jan. 17, 2020. The festivities were due to start on Jan. 16, 2021 with an exhibition game involving the top players in the Women’s Hockey League and the Junior Hockey League Challenge Cup. The climax was scheduled for Jan. 23-24 when Arena Riga was set to host the KHL All-Star weekend.
Alexei Morozov, KHL President:
“This is a really tough decision. For the first time in its 13-year history, KHL fans will miss out on this show, which brings together our top players and – since 2016 – has celebrated the best of three leagues. Unfortunately, right now we cannot predict how the coronavirus situation will be in January 2021 and we have a responsibility not to endanger the health of our players and supporters.
“The KHL has no interest in staging this event behind closed doors – that idea has no merit. Those fans and players who travel to the All-Star Week from so many different countries are the real stars of the occasion – they create that unique festive atmosphere in the arena. I don’t believe that staging the event with restrictions on the number of spectators would be a success. Only a sell-out crowd makes this event what it has always been – the biggest show in the KHL season.
“As a result of all this the league, in discussion with the organizing committee in Riga, decided to cancel the 2021 All-Star Week. We will definitely return and put on the full show that we planned in January of the following year. Believe me, a lot of work has already gone into this. We will celebrate together in January 2022.”