SEC to play remainder of Men’s Basketball Tournament without fans

Coronavirus

(WKRN) — The Southeastern Conference has announced it will play the remainder of the 2020 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament without fans, limiting attendance to only essential staff and limited family.

“In light of recent developments beyond our control related to the spread of the coronavirus, including a recommendation from the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel, and after consultation with our member universities, we have made the difficult decision to hold the 2020 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville without spectators beginning with games of Thursday, March 12. Effective immediately, the policy will also apply to other SEC Championship events and on-campus regular-season games scheduled through at least the end of March.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey

This ruling will apply to all conference sporting events through at least the end of March and it could be extended.

The SEC is going to great lengths to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

At the tournament in Nashville, locker rooms will be disinfected and hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout Bridgestone Arena.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey says very difficult conversations led up to these decisions.

“The information that filtered to us from the NCAA staff indicated the serious level of this public health crisis. We have a responsibility to intervene, that decision has not been made lightly. I’m not sure I understand the full disappointment it’s disappointing for me but it’s a reality that’s now upon us,” explained Sankey.

The SEC estimates only about 140 people will be allowed to watch the tournament in person.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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