The University of Pennsylvania cancelled the 2020 Penn Relays on Monday amidst growing concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The event, which began in 1895, has run uninterrupted for 125 years, according to the school, and event organizers are looking to host a "substitute" track meet at a later date, potentially in May or June.
Dr. M. Grace Calhoun, Penn's Director of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics, noted that the event wasn't interrupted by World Wars and previous global health issues, but hosting the Relays during the ongoing pandemic would put "participants, spectators, officials, volunteers, and staff at risk."
"This spirit of perseverance and resiliency will continue as we plan for a track meet later in the year when the health and safety of our community is more certain."
Penn said Monday that all ticket orders will, by default, be credited toward the 2021 Penn Relays, but refunds for the 2020 ticket sale price will be available by request. Ticket fees and order processing fees won't be refunded, according to the school.
If the school is able to plan a substitute track meet, Penn said, it would be a one-day event rather than the Penn Relays' normal three-day schedule.
Dave Johnson, the Director of the Penn Relays, said Monday that the event plans on returning for the 2021 iteration at Franklin Field.
Here's a full list of sports leagues and events that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
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