SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Earlier this week, the State of North Carolina made adjustments to the mass gathering limitations for arenas with a seating capacity over 5,000 to allow for 15 percent of the stated capacity. The Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville sold out the men’s title game of the 2020 Ingles Southern Conference Basketball Championships presented by General Shale with 6,400 fans in attendance. After careful evaluation, the 2021 tournaments, slated for March 4-8 in Asheville, North Carolina, will allow 544 individuals to attend each session. These tickets will be distributed through the member institutions of the Southern Conference to allow families and a limited number of fans to attend the games. In the event that there are tickets remaining for a session, a program will be announced next week for frontline workers to purchase the remaining tickets.
The limit of 544 provides for proper social distancing both in the upper seating bowl via pods of two and throughout the venue. There will be no fan seating on the court level of the venue. The Ingles Southern Conference Basketball Championships presented by General Shale have been a collaborative effort for the past 10 years between the Southern Conference, the City of Asheville, Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission and Buncombe County. The plan for this tournament was also a collaborative effort between all in accordance with the guidance from the State of North Carolina.
To facilitate the limited attendance and allow proper time for cleaning and sanitization, the tournament schedule has been adjusted accordingly. Thursday’s women’s games will now be played in two sessions, with games starting at 12 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Friday’s women’s semifinals will now be played at 12 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., followed by men’s first-round games at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The Buccaneer women open the SoCon Tournament Thursday at 12 p.m. when they take on top-seeded Samford. The ETSU men tip things off in Saturday's quarterfinal game versus Chattanooga at 2:30 p.m. Click here for a full schedule of the men's and women's tournament.
The 2021 Ingles Southern Conference Basketball Championships presented by General Shale celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Southern Conference and the 10th consecutive year that the tournament has been held at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville.