Belfast Giants welcome news on plans for EIHL 2021/22 Season

The Stena Line Belfast Giants has welcomed news that the Elite Ice Hockey League plans to begin the EIHL 2021/22 this September.

League games are scheduled to start on the weekend of 25-26 September and will run through to the Playoff Finals Weekend on 23-24 April 2022.

The Elite League will hold the annual fixtures meeting as usual at the end of June, with the full schedule due to be released in July. Further information including League, Playoffs and Challenge Cup format are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Pending guidance from the NI Executive on the easing of restrictions around indoor sport in Northern Ireland, it is hoped ice hockey will make a return to Belfast this autumn.

Since the end of March, The SSE Arena, Belfast has been used as the mass vaccination centre for Northern Ireland, playing a key role in the ongoing efforts to combat Covid-19. It is anticipated the vaccination centre will run until August 2021.

Belfast Giants

Commenting on the announcement, Steve Thornton, Head of Hockey and Commercial, the Odyssey Trust said: “This is welcome news and a really positive step forward. There’s a real sense of optimism now that getting back on the ice in Belfast could soon become a reality.

“This has been a long time coming for both the club and the fans and we’re excited to progress with our planning for the forthcoming season. Over the coming months, we will continue to work hard behind the scenes to get ready for 2021/22.

“Naturally, there are still events and decisions that remain outside of our control. As the rollout of the vaccination programme continues, we are hopeful that we will see easing of restrictions needed locally to get us back on the ice in Belfast for the next season.

“We would like to thank our fans and partners for their continued patience and support. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to The SSE Arena, Belfast and we will update on plans for our return as soon as we can.”

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