Nearly 100 groups cancel Nashville events due to COVID-19 fears

SEC Basketball Tournament will continue as scheduled
Posted at 5:36 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 22:08:43-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — 100 groups have canceled conventions or meetings in Nashville because of the Coronavirus. 30 groups made the decision Tuesday morning alone. Butch Spyridon with the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation is still determining how bad the economic impact will be, but it may be more than $30 million lost.

This comes as the SEC Basketball Tournament has decided to play on. The teams will still take the court, but COVID-19 will likely reign supreme. They are taking as many precautions as possible.

  • Additional hand sanitizers will be present at arena entrances and throughout concourse and in meeting rooms;
  • Use of hospital grade disinfectant to sanitize locker rooms before teams arrive and upon departure;
  • Sanitation of game balls with hospital grade disinfectant after each practice and game;
  • Sanitation of team benches plus band and cheerleader seating areas following each game;
  • Hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and Lysol spray in team locker rooms;
  • Hand sanitizers at scorer's table, in officials' locker rooms and operations offices;
  • Signage throughout concourse to provide CDC preventive action recommendations

"It will be impacted attendance wise, but the fact they’re here, the fact they can show Nashville’s open for business in regards to the tornado, and maybe can show some of the precautions we’re taking from a safety health standpoint, could be a good message for us," said Spyridon.

Spyridon is grateful the SEC stuck around, when so many are pulling out. He's worried more will cancel in the coming days. "Stupidity and panic will hurt a lot of us a lot more and a lot longer," said Spyridon. "We’re walking a tight rope on it, so far so good, but it’s a tightrope."