Bonner Arnold Coliseum has always been a difficult place for opponents of the Northeast Mississippi Community College basketball programs to play in.
However, the atmosphere inside the home of the Lady Tigers and Tigers will be different during the 2021 campaign due to concerns surrounding the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
The most noticeable change will be in the attendance. No general admission tickets will be sold at the gate and fans of the visiting team are not allowed on the Booneville campus.
All athletes, managers and coaches for both Northeast teams will get to place four names of family or friends on a pass list for each home game. The only other individuals that will receive entrance under this amended policy are members of the 6th Man Club.
Only Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference (MACCC) passes will be accepted. Northeast faculty, staff and students, which usually attain free admission with their identification cards, will not gain entry this year.
Fans must adhere to social distancing measures in the seating areas, concession stand lines and bathrooms. Masks are required at all times with the lone exception of actively eating or drinking.
Other noticeable absences at each contest this season will include the Showband from Tigerland, the Tiger Dancers and the cheerleading squad, which have boosted the game day atmosphere inside Bonner Arnold Coliseum for decades.
These policies were developed in response to current guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and Gov. Tate Reeves. Those orders limit capacity at indoor athletic venues to just 10 percent or 1,000 patrons whichever is lowest.
Northeast may revisit these policies should guidelines from the MSDH, Gov. Reeves or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) change at any point in the future.
All guests and staff are asked to conduct self-screening of their personal health before coming to campus. This should include a temperature check and a review of any potential COVID-19 symptoms.
The MACCC approved a mirror scheduling format for divisional play. Either the Lady Tigers or Tigers will go on the road while the other team competes in the City of Hospitality on the same night.
The Tigers christen their season by welcoming Holmes Community College on Thursday, January 21. The Lady Tigers host Mississippi Delta Community College for their home opener on Monday, January 25.
A majority of Northeast basketball outings this year, including both home and away matchups, will be broadcast on www.nemcctv.com plus the Amazon and Roku television apps. Men’s contests will be on the Black Channel while the women’s games will air on the Gold Channel.
A limited number of 6th Man Club memberships are still available. For more information, contact head men’s basketball coach Cord Wright at 662-720-7241 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.