The Komets will open next season Oct. 23 at Memorial Coliseum against the Wheeling Nailers, according to information released Tuesday by the ECHL, and embark on a 72-game season with a much more varied schedule than this season.
The ECHL is anticipating 27 teams in 20 states and two Canadian provinces – including expansion franchises in Coralville, Iowa, and Trois-Rivières, Quebec – after only 14 teams participated this season because of the pandemic.
The Komets have 12 games remaining this season starting tonight at the Coliseum against the Nailers.
The bulk of this season's Komets games have been spent playing Wheeling and Indy – they have comprised 35 of the 39 games so far because the other area teams opted out – but next season Fort Wayne will see a more diverse schedule.
The Komets have yet to announce their schedule independently, implying they expect changes to be made, but the ECHL has them slated to face the Kalamazoo Wings 14 times, the Toledo Walleye 13 times and the Cincinnati Cyclones 12 times, after those teams opted out of this season.
The Komets will face Wheeling 10 times, Iowa nine times and Indy only seven times. That leaves three games at the Adirondack (N.Y.) Thunder, two games at the Worcester (Mass.) Railers and two games at the Coliseum against the Tulsa Oilers.
The ECHL season will kick off Oct. 21, when Trois-Rivières plays host to Newfoundland in the first-ever ECHL game in Quebec, at the recently completed Le Nouveau Colisée.
Among the seven games Oct. 22 will be Iowa playing host to Kansas City at Xtream Arena.
The Komets' regular season will conclude April 16 at the Coliseum against the Nailers.
The entire league slate will end April 17.
Whereas the late start to this 50-game Fort Wayne season meant the traditional holiday games weren't held, they are slated to return next season. That includes the Bob Chase Memorial Game on Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, which will be against Toledo at the Coliseum. Also, New Year's Eve will be against Iowa at the Coliseum.
No announcement has been made regarding when tickets will go on sale at the Coliseum or through Ticketmaster, whether normal capacity will return, or if fans will still be expected to sit in pods to protect against the spread of COVID-19.