Sports News: When will the next NHL, NBA, and other major sports seasons begin?

Sports fans are wondering when their favorite sports and leagues will resume play. The NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA basketball all have plans to start their new seasons soon. Plans may not be concrete, but at least fans and punters have hope of new seasons beginning soon.

The NHL recently crowned the 2019-20 Stanley Cup champions as the Tampa Bay Lightning lifted Sir Stanley’s mug and now, the NHL is in its offseason.

The NBA is heading toward the end of the Finals as the Miami Heat and LA Lakers battle it out for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The Association will wrap up the 2019-20 season by the end of the month.


In normal years, the NHL and NBA would be beginning their regular seasons this month. Yet, as we all know, 2020 is not a normal year. This leaves us wondering when the new season for both sports leagues — and other major leagues around the globe — will begin once more. Zcode System looks at the start dates or potential start dates of the NHL, NBA and other major sports seasons.

NHL 2020-21

The Lightning are still celebrating their Stanley Cup win over the Dallas Stars, but the rest of the NHL is now doing its typical offseason business. The NHL Draft begins on October 6 and free agency starts three days later.

It was hoped by the NHL that the 2020-21 regular season would begin in December. But with possible coronavirus travel restrictions for travel, it could be delayed.

The NHL hasn’t put a concrete date on when the new NHL season will begin, however. In a recent interview, Commissioner Gary Bettman state the 2020-21 campaign could begin in late December or early January.

Bettman wants the regular season to be 82 games and hold the usual league playoffs. This means that the regular season would be packed into as few days as would allow. The border crossing between the United States and Canada could play a pivotal factor in how the new season will look and be played.

For now, hockey fans must do with the KHL and other leagues in Europe that are playing regular-season games.

NBA 2020-21

Most of the reports on the next NBA season’s start come from August and September. In a recent article from CBS Sports, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated that the new NBA season is not likely to begin until January.

It was hoped, like the NHL, that the new season would begin in December. It looks like those hopes are now focused on just after the new year. Silver did not give a specific date in his interview, only saying that January 2021 is the most likely month to start the season.

MLB 2021

Major League Baseball is in the playoffs after its tumultuous 60-game shortened campaign. MLB is holding all playoff games and the World Series behind closed doors at neutral venues.

In July, released its 2021 regular-season schedule. The league’s decision to launch the schedule so far in advance seems a bit speculative. All 30 MLB clubs are to begin the campaign on April 1, 2021.

NCAA Basketball

NCAA basketball will tip off play in November. There will be some “bubble-style play” amongst teams as they meet in nonconference games. According to recent reports, the NCAA could give college basketball players one extra year of eligibility.

Late November is primed to be the tip-off for major NCAA basketball. It remains to be seen just what a March Madness-style tournament will be like if one is held in 2021.

Champions League 2020-21

Major soccer leagues are back in action in Europe and have been — for the most part — since June. All major leagues around Europe kicked off their 2020-21 seasons in August and September, and now the biggest international club competition is ready to return.

The Champions League 2020-21 will kick off group stage play on October 20. The group stage will be finished by Christmas time with the last 16 beginning in February. The 2021 Champions League final will take place in Istanbul on May 29.

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