It feels like a lifetime ago that fans dawned blue and white jerseys and filled Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on a weekend to take in some Western Hockey League action.
Well, on Friday, those seemingly distant sports memories of cheering for the Victoria Royals on home ice have inched one step closer to once again becoming a reality.
For Vancouver Island hockey fans getting out their calendars, Saturday, October 2 is the date to be circled as it marks the Royals’ 2021-2022 home-opener against the Vancouver Giants.
The Royals’ home-opener announcement comes on the heels of the WHL declaring that the 2021-22 WHL Regular Season will begin on Friday, October 1 and will consist of a 68-game schedule.
With the anticipation of health restrictions being lifted by October, the WHL says it is expecting stadiums to be functioning at “full capacity in a fan-friendly and safe environment” in all markets.
WHL hockey hasn’t been played at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre since the 2019-20 season after the world came grinding to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is an exciting time for our hockey club and knowing that we will be playing in front of our great fans this fall has created a buzz within our team,” said Dan Price, General Manager and Head Coach of the Victoria Royals. “We’ve missed hearing the roar of the crowd and being able to show our appreciation to the people of Victoria. We have a talented young team excited to perform during the 2021-2022 season.”
At this time, only the date for the home-opener has been announced by the club, but fans can expect to see the full WHL Western Conference regular-season schedule released on Wednesday, June 23.
The WHL regular season is expected to run until Sunday, April 3.
An on-sale date for tickets to the home-opener will be announced at a later date as well.
The club adds that season ticket holders can expect to receive renewal packages in the coming weeks, with new season seats going on sale shortly thereafter.