The Latest: Steelers hold back some of 2020 ticket inventory

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are holding back a portion of their ticket inventory for the 2020 season to be ready in case social distancing measures are required in stadiums this fall.

Individual single game tickets went on sale Friday. Team spokesman Burt Lauten says the club withheld 50% of the allotment as a “proactive” measure should the NFL use social distancing guidelines.

The NFL released its 2020 schedule last month. The Steelers will play 10 games at Heinz Field, beginning with a preseason meeting with Tampa Bay on Aug. 14.

The Steelers will make full refunds available “if the NFL or the team cancels a game and it cannot be replayed, or if it is played under conditions that prohibit fans from attending.” If games are postponed or rescheduled, the tickets will be valid for the new date.

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The Southeastern Conference is allowing voluntary athletic activities to occur on each of its campuses starting June 8, at the discretion of each university.

SEC officials noted the workouts would take place “under strict supervision of designated university personnel and safety guidelines developed by each institution.”

The SEC had suspended all athletic activities through May 31 due to the pandemic. SEC officials consider June 8 the start of a transition period allowing student-athletes to adapt gradually to full training.

The SEC decided to resume athletic activities June 8 with the guidance of the league’s task force on medical guidance and return to activity. That task force includes public health, infectious disease and sports medicine professionals from each of the league’s 14 member schools. The task force prepared a series of best practices for screening, testing, monitoring, tracing, social distancing and maintaining clean environments to serve as a guide for each school.

Permitted actions are limited by the NCAA to voluntary activities supervised by strength and conditioning personnel.

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Badminton is aiming to begin its revamped schedule in mid-August at the Hyderabad Open in India.

The world tour would resume at the Taipei Open from Sept. 1-6 in an updated calendar released by the Badminton World Federation.

The Thomas & Uber Cup Finals in Denmark are confirmed on the new dates of Oct. 3-11 and the World Tour Finals have been pushed back a week to Dec. 16-20.

The season-ending Finals in Guangzhou is one of five tournaments in China at the end of the year. That is not including the Hong Kong Open in November.

The Asia championships scheduled for April in Wuhan have been canceled and the European championships remain without a new date after being suspended since April.

The BWF says it is still working on how to unfreeze the rankings and make necessary changes to Olympic qualifying.

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Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is starting the “202 Assist” program to help with paying rent for people in the nation’s capital affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The John Wall Family Foundation set a goal of raising $300,000 over the next month.

The program is named for Washington’s area code and will work with the city to find those in need and disperse funds.

Wall is a five-time NBA All-Star who was drafted No. 1 overall by the Wizards in the 2010 draft. He sat out all of the 2019-20 season after tearing his left Achilles tendon.

His foundation donated 2,300 masks and hundreds of meals to front-line workers in Washington and in his home state of North Carolina in April.

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Novak Djokovic is planning to set up a series of tennis tournaments in the Balkan region while the sport is suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The top-ranked player’s media team says the Adria Tour will start in Belgrade on June 13 and end on July 5 with Djokovic’s exhibition match against Bosnian player Damir Dzumhur in Sarajevo. The other events are scheduled for the Croatian Adriatic resort of Zadar, Montenegro and Banja Luka in northern Bosnia.

Djokovic will play in all of the round robin tournaments. The other participants are to include Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov.

Organizers left open the possibility that the “humanitarian” tour could be played in front of spectators.

No professional tennis tournaments have been played since March. The French Open has been postponed and Wimbledon has been canceled because of the coronavirus.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Categories: National Sports

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