JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A little more than an hour after announcing that fans would not be allowed at this weekend’s men’s and women’s basketball championship games, the Sun Belt Conference decided to cancel the tournament.
“After further discussion with the presidents and chancellors and directors of athletics, and mounting concerns surround the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Sun Belt Conference has decided to cancel the remaining games,” they announced.
Initially, the conference had said that fans would not be allowed in the stands at the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships in New Orleans.
At the time, it said “only student-athletes, coaches, essential staff, officials, broadcast network staffs, credentialed media, and limited immediate family members of the participating teams" would be present.
“The Sun Belt and the Smoothie King Center will continue to take precautionary measures and follow the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for those in attendance,” the news release stated.
Those considered “high-risk” are discouraged from attending, even if they meet the attendance exception.
The games were set for March 14-15.
The Southeastern Conference also announced Thursday that, based on the continued spread of COVID-19, it would cancel the remainder of the 2020 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville.