LAS VEGAS – Basketball is back! With the NBA and WNBA relaunching its respective seasons, college basketball finds itself less than 100 days away from the start of its new season. One of the most anticipated tournaments will be the MGM Resorts Main Event, scheduled November 20-22, 2020 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Tickets for the four-team tournament, featuring Louisville, Arkansas, Colorado State and San Francisco, will are on-sale now to the public. The tournament, now in its seventh year, is managed by bdG Sports.
“MGM Resorts has been a leader in setting health and safety protocols for its resorts and entertainment venues in response to COVID-19. We will use those standards as a foundation to keep our players and fans safe at T-Mobile Arena,” said Brooks Downing, President and CEO of bdG Sports. “We are setting a model to have 25% capacity at this time and will continue to modify these health and safety measures as the situation evolves throughout the fall.”
Protocols for the tournament include:
- Venue capacity will be set at 25% (as of the on-sale)
- Seating immediately around the playing floor will be restricted
- All public safety protocols in place in November will be in effect for those entering the venue
- MGM Resorts’ Seven-Point Safety Plan will be utilized at the host resorts, which includes temperature checks, physical distancing, enhanced sanitation measures and handwashing stations, etc. (https://www.mgmresorts.com/en/covid-19/seven-point-safety-plan.html)
- Contactless options for ticketing and concessions
Louisville, which finished 24-7 overall last season and ranked 14th nationally, was 15-5 and tied for second in the Atlantic Coast Conference under second-year coach Chris Mack. The Cards are expected to compete for the ACC Championship next season. Arkansas, 20-12 last season, is expected to compete for a conference title season by adding the nation’s No. 5-ranked recruiting class with three of the top graduate transfers in the country as well as three transfers that sat out last season. The Razorbacks will be led by SEC Player of the Year candidate Isaiah Joe whom announced his withdrawal from the NBA Draft and return to Fayetteville last week. Coach Eric Musselman took over the program last season after spending the previous four years in the Mountain West Conference at Nevada, leading the Wolfpack to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Likewise, Colorado State hopes to build on its 20-12 record and fifth-place finish in the MWC last season while San Francisco boasts a 22-win season from a year ago and a fifth-place finish in the West Coast Conference standings.
Downing said, “What makes this such a terrific lineup this season is that all four teams are coached by top young coaches in college basketball, all four teams are coming off 20-win seasons from a year ago – and those are shortened seasons due to the pandemic – and all four teams will have aspirations of claiming a conference championship and playing deep into the NCAA Tournament next March. Without a doubt, this is the best lineup we’ve assembled in the seven years of this tournament.”
Tickets for the two-day tournament range from $29-$109 per day and two-day packages are available from $49-$195 (prices are inclusive of tax and facility fee). Tickets can be purchased at www.tmobilearena.com or www.axs.com. First-round games will be played Friday, Nov. 20 with the consolation and championship games tipping Sunday, Nov. 22. Tickets will allow access to both games on the given day. Pairings and game times will be announced soon. ESPN plans to broadcast the event.
The tournament benefits Coaches vs. Cancer, an initiative spearheaded by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (www.nabc.com) and the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org). The launch of public ticket sales has been scheduled to coincide with the 13th Annual Las Vegas Golf Classic benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer. The charity event hosted by Coach Lon Kruger is played annually at Shadow Creek and South Highlands and has raised nearly $6 million for the American Cancer Society.
Complete tournament information can be found at www.mgmresortsmainevent.com and on social media at @VegasMainEvent. Tournament hotel rates are available now via the website. Rates are available for ARIA, MGM Grand and New York-New York. All resorts are a short walking distance to T-Mobile Arena.
HEAD COACHES’ QUOTES
Arkansas’ Eric Musselman
“We are excited to playing in this premier event versus elite programs on a national stage. These are the types of games we look forward to competing in each year. This will be a great opportunity and learning experience for our student-athletes both culturally and athletically. We are also honored to be affiliated with Coaches vs. Cancer and all that great organization represents.”
San Francisco’s Todd Golden:
“We are thrilled to be a part of the 2020 MGM Resorts Main Event in Las Vegas this November. This is an event that draws accomplished programs from all conferences throughout the country. The field is particularly strong again this year and we are looking forward to another opportunity to show where our program is early in the non-conference season.”
Louisville’s Chris Mack:
“We are looking forward to participating in this prestigious event among our early games next season. The opportunity to play in this tournament in Las Vegas provides a great destination for our fans to follow our team on the road a week before Thanksgiving in what we anticipate being great competition.”
Colorado State’s Niko Medved:
“We are thrilled to have the chance to play in a first-class tournament like the MGM Resorts Main Event. It’s a great opportunity for our program and we look forward to competing against some of the premier programs in college basketball.”