Thursday, March 20, 2008

SEC Sorting Out Refunds After Tornado Strikes League Tournament

The storm forced the SEC to postpone one game and move the last two days of the tournament

ATLANTA (AP) - The Southeastern Conference is still sorting out a refund policy for fans who couldn't attend the men's basketball tournament after a tornado struck the Georgia Dome.

The conference released a statement saying fans would be informed through its Web site,, as well as the official sites of the 12 member schools when the plan is finalized.

"The SEC advises fans to retain any unused tickets for the 2008 tournament," the SEC said.

The storm Friday night, which damaged the dome and caused widespread damage in downtown Atlanta, forced the SEC to postpone one game and move the last two days of the tournament to Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Citing the smaller capacity of the 9,191-seat coliseum, compared to 26,000 at the dome, the SEC only allowed working officials, bands, cheerleaders, and friends and family of the players to attend games Saturday and Sunday.

The crowd was estimated at 3,700 for the championship game, compared to the 20,000 that likely would have attended at the Georgia Dome.

The conference will surely issue refunds for the final two days, but is likely trying to decide how to handle Friday's evening session. One game was played, and about 20,000 fans were already in the building when the tornado struck.

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