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BANNER ELK – The Lees-McRae College Athletics Department has made the decision to allow only essential personnel in the Williams Gymnasium for the beginning of the men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball seasons. Lees-McRae leadership will continue to assess the county and state guidelines along with the NCAA protocols for further developments and will provide updated revisions as further information is available.

“We have created such a gameday experience in the Williams Gymnasium that a decision like this is not easy,” said Vice President for Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail. “Our students, fans and Bobcat Club members help us have a true home court advantage at 4,000 ft. altitude. To be safe we are starting off with no fans, with hopes of increasing our attendance as the season moves forward.”

Attendance policies for all road contests against Conference Carolinas and non-conference opponents will be at the discretion of the host institution. Fans are encouraged to check with the host institution for any restrictions on attendance. To view the composite schedule for all athletic events, click to lmcbobcats.com/calendar.

As in years past, the Lees-McRae Sports Information Office will stream all home contests on the Conference Carolinas Digital Network. This will also include a free “on-demand” feature, where fans can re-watch any of the Bobcats’ home and away contests at any time. Events can be viewed using streaming devices such as Roku, AppleTV and Amazon Fire.

“We wrestled with this as we want families to see their sons and daughters play intercollegiate athletics in person,” said McPhail. “We have committed to enhancing our web streaming broadcasts to provide a substitute for not being on our campus.”

The Lees-McRae men’s and women’s basketball teams both open their seasons on Wednesday, Jan. 13, as they host Southern Wesleyan in Williams Gymnasium for a conference doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. The men’s volleyball team start its season on Saturday, Jan. 16, at Lincoln Memorial at 2 p.m., while the women’s volleyball team hosts Conference Carolinas rival King in the season opener on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 4:30 p.m.

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