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SWAC nixes attendance at conference tournaments

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Following consultation with governmental and public health officials, the Southwestern Athletic Conference announced Wednesday that it will bar fans from the arena for the rest of its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments because of fears about coronavirus.

Both tournaments will continue as scheduled on Friday and Saturday at Bartow Arena in Birmingham. Games will be closed to the general public and only essential staff and limited family attendance will be permitted.

Jackson State’s men’s and women’s teams are both scheduled to play in the semifinals on Friday.

This decision was made in consultation and guidance with local governmental and public health and medical officials to limit large gatherings due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, event staff and fans has and will always serve as the guiding principle for any decisions we make here at the Southwestern Athletic Conference,” SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland said in a release. “Today in consultation with health officials and NCAA we have determined that the best course of action is to limit attendance at our upcoming tournaments to family members and essential tournament personnel.”

Tickets for the SWAC tournaments will be refunded. For information on refunds, call 205-251-7573 or email a.mackey@swac.org.