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Rodeo Austin, Luck Reunion are the latest events called off in Austin over coronavirus concerns

Friday, March 13, 2020 by Jimmy Maas

Rodeo Austin and Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion will not be held this spring. Organizers received word from Travis County officials Thursday that the public health risk was too great.

There will also be no fans at Austin sporting events for the near term amid concerns over the coronavirus. As of Thursday evening, there were no confirmed cases in Travis County, but officials are playing it safe and planning as if there were.

The PGA Tour announced Thursday it is not allowing fans to attend its upcoming tournament at Austin Country Club. The World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play is still scheduled to take place the last week of March, with practice rounds beginning March 25. The ban on fans at PGA events is scheduled to end next month after the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio, just ahead of the Masters Tournament.

The University of Texas Athletics Department announced Thursday it is suspending events at the Erwin Center for the immediate future. The Erwin Center is officially a state entity, so not necessarily subject to city and county bans on mass gatherings. Basketball games and concerts, including the Chris Stapleton show scheduled for Thursday, are being postponed.

“After discussion with university officials and leadership at the Erwin Center we believe it’s in the best interest of everyone involved to proceed with an abundance of caution with events at that facility,” Athletics Director Chris Del Conte said in a statement.

UT basketball teams will not play the men’s and women’s conference tournaments. The Big 12 canceled the tournaments Thursday morning, as the Longhorns men’s team was warming up in Kansas City.

UT Athletics also announced it would have no spectators at four upcoming baseball games, but said all its teams would continue to play as scheduled, home or away.

The arts are affected as well. Events at Bass Concert Hall and McCullough Theatre are canceled until March 30. The Blanton Museum canceled all programs through mid-April, and the LBJ Presidential Library announced it would close to the public starting Friday at 5 p.m.

Here’s where other big gatherings stand:

  • The United Soccer League Championship suspended its season, which means no Austin Bold games for some time
  • The NBA, NHL, MLB, Major League Soccer, and the pro tennis tour have all stopped play
  • After the NBA suspending its regular season, the G League followed suit, which means the Austin Spurs will not play again in Cedar Park for some time
  • The Texas Stars’ league, the American Hockey League, has suspended its season
  • Minor League Baseball is delaying the start to its season, affecting the Round Rock Express

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT. Photo by Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News.

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