Enhanced security planned at SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament

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NASHVILLE, TN (WTVQ) – Fans attending the 2020 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville will be asked to enter the event with clear bags and should be prepared to arrive early and to see a law enforcement presence in and around Bridgestone Arena, the Conference office has announced.  The tournament will be held March 11-15.

The SEC strongly encourages fans not to bring any type of bags to the tournament, but bags must be clear or otherwise a small clutch bag to be allowed into the arena.

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Gates open for the arena 75 minutes prior to the first game of each day of the tournament to accommodate early arriving fans.

Bags must satisfy the guidelines below in order to be taken into the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar)
  • Small clutch bags, no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”, with or without a handle or strap
  • An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose

Prohibited items include, but are not limited to:  purses larger than a small clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size (12” x 6” x 12”).

Items that are typically carried in diaper or baby bags must be carried in a clear bag that meets the standards of the bag policy.

Fans may still bring items such as binoculars and cameras (with lens less than 4 inches in length), provided they are not in cases, as well as smart phones into each arena.

Working personnel, including media, will continue to enter the arena through designated gates where they will be subject to screening and bag inspections already in effect for the tournament.

Any fan who witnesses suspicious activity at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville should notify uniformed security personnel, or text the issue and location to (615) 502-4848.

The SEC is encouraging fans to arrive early and leave any unnecessary items at home or in their cars. Fans who bring any bag into the arena should anticipate being delayed for search.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.