2020 Penn Relays canceled for first time in 125 years due to COVID-19 concerns

26 April 2014: A general view of the Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Derik Hamilton/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 2020 Penn Relays have been canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus concerns.

This will mark the first cancellation of the Penn Relays in their 125 history, as they have run uninterrupted since 1895. They were scheduled to begin on April 23. 

In its place, Penn will look to host a substitute track meet at a later date in late May or early June.

"Based on the current novel coronavirus pandemic, we cannot host an event in late April without putting our participants, spectators, officials, volunteers, and staff at risk," said Dr. M. Grace Calhoun, the Director of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Pennsylvania. "We remain hopeful that the recent measures put in place by many health organizations, government officials, and academic institutions will curtail the spread of this disease. The University of Pennsylvania has hosted the Penn Relays for 125 consecutive years through the World Wars and other world-wide health issues. This spirit of perseverance and resiliency will continue as we plan for a track meet later in the year when the health and safety of our community is more certain."


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The makeup event will only be a single day, as opposed to the typical three-day Penn Relays format.

All ticket orders for the 2020 Penn Relays will be credited toward the 2021 relays by default, and refunds will be available upon request.

Anyone with questions can contact the Penn Athletics Ticket Office at (215) 898-6151 between 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday-Friday, or by email at tickets@pobox.upenn.edu.


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