College Football Sees First Games Canceled Because of Coronavirus


That plus parking — where some of the 12,000 spots go for $75 and up at Cowboys games — along with concessions, game merchandise, a 22 percent cut of each team’s merchandise, sponsorships, suites and event revenues should leave a tidy profit after paying Alabama its $6 million guarantee and U.S.C. likely a comparable amount.

But with coronavirus cases spiking in various states, it remains unclear whether fans will be able to attend.

In some cases, broadcast networks may ensure the games are played as scheduled.

Dennis Thomas, the commissioner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, said that ESPN planned to still go forward with a game between one of his conference’s schools, South Carolina State, and Grambling, on Sept. 6 at the Atlanta Braves’ former stadium.

“If you don’t have the backing of a multimedia company, the numbers are not going to make sense,” Thomas said.

  • Updated June 16, 2020

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That turned out to be the case for the games in Detroit and Memphis.

This was to have been the 31st edition of the Southern Heritage Classic, all but two of which have featured Jackson State and Tennessee State.

Fred Jones, the event organizer, had built it into a three-day extravaganza for the historically black colleges, which are both about 210 miles from Memphis. The weekend was scheduled to kick off on Sept. 10 with a concert by Patti LaBelle with Jeffrey Osborne, and in the next two days would include a coaches’ luncheon, 3-kilometer race, golf tournament, parade, fashion show, battle of the high school bands and an extravagant tailgating scene leading up to a Saturday night kickoff.



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