COLLEGE STATION — The Southeastern Conference announced Wednesday night that due to the rise of concern surrounding the COVID-19, fans will not be allowed into the impending SEC Tournament. Games began Wednesday evening, but starting Thursday, no spectators will be allowed to attend inside Bridgestone Arena.
"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."
"We regret the inconvenience and disappointment this decision has caused our fans, especially those who have already traveled to Nashville for the tournament."
Texas A&M announced earlier this week that classes would be delayed following the student's return from spring break next week. The NCAA ruled Wednesday morning that fans would be able to attend upcoming March Madness games at the NCAA tournament.
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The Aggies will begin play Thursday evening against No.10 Missouri to start their shot at the title. Under the direction of Buzz Williams, the team tallied 10 wins in conference play, the most since 2016, when the Aggies were featured in a close loss to Michigan in the Sweet-Sixteen.
All games for the tournament are still expected to be played, including the Aggies on Thursday at 6 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on the SEC Network. All games, including the first and second round of the tournament and the quarterfinals, will air on SECN. They will then switch over to ESPN for the semifinals and championship game.
Automatic refunds of ticket purchases will be made to fans who are the original purchaser of the tickets from SEC Office or an SEC university, or a verified purchaser on the SEC Ticket Exchange powered by Ticketmaster. The SEC remains in continued communication with public health officials and reminds everyone to be attentive to everyday preventive actions identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov).