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Law enforcement presence planned for SEC tourney

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Southeastern Conference officials have said to expect “a law enforcement presence in and around the Bon Secours Wellness Arena” when the conference’s women’s basketball tournament begins Wednesday in Greenville.

Security guidelines released by the conference Tuesday suggest fans arrive at the arena early and that no bags be brought in. Gates into the arena will be open one hour before the start of the first game of the day “to accommodate early arriving fans.”

While the conference requested fans not bring any bags into the arena, they will allow clear bags or a “small clutch bag” into the arena. Other guidelines released by the conference include:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”;
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar);
  • Small clutch bags, no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”, with or without a handle or strap;
  • An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.

Purses larger than the clutch size, coolers, briefcases, backbacks, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage, computer bags, camera bags or any other bag larger than the permissible size will not be allowed. Any items carried in a diaper or baby bag “must be carried in a clear bag that meets the standards of the bag policy.”

Binoculars and cameras — with lens no longer than 4 inches and provided they are not in bags — as well as smart phones are allowed into the arena.

The first round of the tournament begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Thursday’s second round games will be split between a session beginning at 12 p.m. and another beginning at 6 p.m. Semifinals begin at 5 p.m. Saturday with the championship beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday. The South Carolina women’s basketball team is the top seed in the tournament and will play its first game at 12 p.m. Friday.

Complimentary shuttles from Redemption Church to the arena will be provided during weekday games and the downtown Greenville trolley will operate Thursday through Sunday.

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