The Utica Comets are hopeful to get back on the ice with fans back in the seats this season, according to the Comets front office on Wednesday.

The America Hockey League (AHL) CEO Scott Howson said that the league's Board of Governors has approved the anticipated start date of the 2020-21 season to Feb. 5, 2021, due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

"The AHL continues to work with its member clubs to monitor developments and local guidelines in all 31 league cities," said Alicia Daddario, media representative for the Comets. "Further details regarding the 2020-21 American Hockey League season are still to be determined."

In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.

The Utica Comets played their first game on October 11, 2013 and have since been packing the seats inside what is now known as the Adirondack Bank Center. Utica currently holds the record for most sell-outs in a season at 40 (2015-16, 2017-18) and currently holds the AHL record for consecutive sell-outs at 169 games, a current record that has grown continuously since April 10, 2015. Their last sell-out was earlier this year on March 11th, the last game played before the COVID-19 shutdown.