No fans will be allowed at Southland basketball tournaments


KATY, Texas (KETK/Southland Conference) – If you were hoping to see the SFA men or Women go after an NCAA tournament ticket this weekend. You won’t be able to do it in person.

The Southland Conference has announced it will limit attendance beginning Thursday morning at the 2020 Hercules Tires Southland Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments at the Leonard E. Merrell Center, due to precautions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

KETK will provide on site coverage from Katy beginning Friday with SFA’s men’s semi-final match-up in our 6:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. newscasts, and continuing until Sunday’s Sports Night in East Texas should the men & women reach their respective title games.

Beginning with Thursday’s women’s first round and men’s second round games, arena entry will be restricted to participating teams, game officials, tournament staff, spirit groups (at each institution’s discretion), credentialed media, other support personnel, and family members included on the team’s official pass list. There will be no entry allowed for ticket holders and no opportunity to purchase tickets at the Merrell Center. In the near future, the Southland and its member institutions will provide a refund policy to fans who have purchased tickets.

All games of the Southland Tournament are being televised as scheduled, with all preliminary contests being shown live on ESPN+. Saturday’s men’s championship game will be shown live on ESPN2 at 8:30 p.m. Central, while Sunday’s women’s title game will be shown live on CBS Sports Network at 1:00 p.m. Central.

“While this announcement creates considerable inconvenience for many fans, these measures are being taken with the health and well-being of the tournament’s participants in mind, including student-athletes and coaches,” Southland Commissioner Tom Burnett said. “This is of the utmost importance as we’re seeing similar issues across the country with other sporting events, including the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships in the coming weeks. The Southland will continue monitor and to take necessary precautions through the weeks ahead as other competition and championship events are scheduled.”

The Katy Kids Dribble scheduled for Saturday morning at the Merrell Center will also be cancelled.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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