The amateur Empire Football League has canceled its 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league announced via a press release Monday morning.
The Tri-City Spartans, who play in Schenectady, are the league’s defending champions.
The release stated: “The Empire Football League met recently to establish plans for the 2020 season because of the current impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic. After reviewing the recently released reopening plans and various Federal, State and Local Government guidelines, we have concluded that we will have to cancel the 2020 EFL season. This is being done in the best interests of the Empire Football League (players/coaches/staff/officials), fans and our communities. With teams spanning multiple states, a plethora of ever-changing rules/protocols and constantly shrinking timelines, we made this decision with mixed feelings of pride and sadness. Pride because as leaders we know that we did [the] right thing for players, coaches, officials, sponsors, and fans of the Empire Football League. Sadness because the responsibility of being a good leader has brought us to this ultimate decision to postpone 2020 season.
“The Empire Football League wishes to thank all of our players, coaches, staff, sponsors and fans for your support and understanding during this time; we plan to see you back on the field in 2021.”
The Spartans defeated the Mohawk Valley Nighthawks, 12-0, in the 2019 EFL championship game at Schenectady High School. Tri-City was scheduled to play its 2020 home games at Union College and was set to open its regular season July 11 at home against the Hudson Valley Mountaineers.