Milwaukee Wave cancels 2020-21 season

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Wave, reigning MASL Indoor Soccer Champions, announced Monday, Oct. 19, the cancellation of their 2020-21 season.

According to a news release from the team, The Wave were poised to defend their championship title before last season ended early due to the emergence of COVID-19. They now find themselves unable to come to an agreement with the Wisconsin Center District that would allow for their use of the Panther Arena.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty as far as when and if the Milwaukee Health Department will allow attendance at live sports events, and, if so, how many people can safely share a space,” noted Milwaukee Wave owner Mike Zimmerman. “So, the District can’t give us a line of sight past January 1st to open the arena at capacity limits that work for us. Currently the limit is 250 and we need closer to 4,000.”

In early September, management of the Wisconsin Center District – which collects ticket surcharges from Fiserv Forum and hosts three teams at the Panther Arena – predicted that there would be no fan-attended sports games before the end of 2020 for the Milwaukee Bucks’ Fiserv Forum or for the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena’s Panthers, Milwaukee Admirals, and Milwaukee Wave. Then, in mid-September, Wisconsin Center District employees were notified of sweeping layoffs and furloughs that impact 88% of the publicly funded district’s full- time staff. Finally, it was reported last Friday that the Wisconsin Center District budget assumes there will not be any games at the Panther Arena until fall of 2021.

“The bottom line for sports entertainment is you have to be able to sell tickets and provide advance group sales opportunities in order to ‘feed the beast,’” Zimmerman noted. “We also need a schedule and the ability to start selling 90 days in advance. Right now, there is too much uncertainty to accomplish any of that.”
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