The Albany Empire's return to the Times Union Center will have to wait a little longer. One week longer to be exact. Due to a venue issue with another NAL team, the opening day of the 2021 National Arena League season will be pushed back from May 22nd to May 29th. The good news is this leaves more time to potentially allow more fans at the Times Union Center.

The National Arena League explained the reason for the delay in a press release:

The National Arena League announced today that the league made changes to its 2021 schedule due to venue-related issues with multiple franchises. As a result of some upcoming construction, the Jersey Flight lost a home date. In addition, the Orlando Predators lost a date due to a schedule conflict at the Amway Center. The league was able to modify its 2021 schedule with minimum impact on the other member teams.

The league is proud to announce all seven teams will continue & hold to its 10-week regular-season schedule. The 2021 format continues to provide each team four home games, four away games, and two bye weeks before the post-season begins.

“We are pleased to be able to adjust our 2021 schedule and meet the needs of all of the member teams,” said NAL Commissioner Chris Siegfried. “The updated schedule not only addresses these hurdles, but it gives our teams an additional week to prepare for the 2021 season. Although many of our member teams will have capacity restrictions due to COVID-19, we are thrilled that every team has committed to playing in 2021.”

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This could legitimately b a blessing for the Empire. Another week to get a new coach and team in place, warmer weather for block parties as well as potentially higher capacity allowed at the TUC. So now the Empire will kick off a week later on Saturday, May 29 versus Ontario at the Times Union Center. Tickets and information can be found at


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