One of the most well-known scheduling quirks in the NHL is no longer.
On Monday, the Tribune reported that Chicago’s annual Circus Trip — a two-week sojourn in which the ‘Hawks vacate the United Center for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus — will be no longer after this season.
Gone too is the annual two-week break the club takes in February, when Disney on Ice comes to town.
The Circus and Ice Show trips have been a staple for the teams for decades and date back to when they occupied the Chicago Stadium. But when the present contracts expired, changes were made.
“The reason we’re doing this is two-fold,” Terry Savarise, Senior Vice President of Operations for the United Center, said Monday. “One is that in future years the Bulls and the Blackhawks no longer have to endure two two-week road trips and a subset of that is that those two two-week road trips had resulted in a compression of our home-game schedules which usually ended up having too many home games for fans in a short period of time.
“There were times when you’d have four home games in a one-week period, which fans didn’t like.”
This year’s Circus Trip begins on Tuesday, when the ‘Hawks take on the Jets in Winnipeg.
From there, it looks like this:
As mentioned above, Chicago also spends considerable time away from the United Center in February.
Things actually kick off on Jan. 31, with a date in San Jose — from there, the ‘Hawks go to Arizona, Dallas, Minnesota, Winnipeg and Edmonton before a quick stop at home for a rematch against the Oilers.
After that, the ‘Hawks are back out on the road again for games in Buffalo and Minnesota.