The Kansas City Mavericks announced six key home dates for the 2020-21 regular season Wednesday, including opening day and many of the nights that recognize area first responders and charitable organizations.


“We’re so excited – it makes it all seem real to announce those dates like the home opener,” Mavericks president and general manager Brent Thiessen said Wednesday afternoon. “A lot of thought went into making the announcement at this time, but we wanted to put out the key dates because we think that will be some exciting news for Mavericks fans.”


The home opener is scheduled for Oct. 17 against the Tulsa Oilers, a longtime division rival.


Thiessen also said that new head coach Tad O’Had would likely arrive in Independence sometime in July.


“If these were normal times – and we all certainly know they are anything but normal – Tad would be in town and we’d be working on everything for the upcoming season,” Thiessen said.


“Right now, we don’t have our offices available (because of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order) so Tad and I are talking on a daily basis. He’s been great to work with, a real pro. He’s been calling our season ticket holders and sponsors and we’re working daily on putting a winning team on the ice this season.”


The Mavericks also announced five other key dates.


The annual New Year’s Eve game again is scheduled for Dec. 31 against the Idaho Steelheads. The game, which features a post-game skate around with the players, is regularly sold out.


Military Appreciation Weekend is slated for Jan. 15-16, 2021, as the Mavericks again play host to Idaho. Ticket discounts for military members will be announced for that weekend’s games.


One of the most anticipated games is the annual Teddy Bear Toss, in which fans are invited to throw stuffed animals on the ice after the Mavericks score their first goal. It is scheduled for Jan. 23 against Tulsa. Last year the Mavericks set a franchise record with 4,717 bears collected for organizations who distribute the toys to local children in need and in children’s hospitals.


First Responders Night is scheduled for Feb. 13 against Idaho, as the Mavericks honor local fire, police and EMT workers, who will be eligible for special ticket discounts.


Season ticket plans for the upcoming season are available in packages that include nine, 18 or 35 home games. For more information, go to kcmavericks.com/seasontickets or call/text 816-252-7825.


Single game tickets are scheduled to go on sale in September.