No Penn Relays, But Here’s The Plan

The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics has announced that the 2021 Penn Relays, originally scheduled for April 22 through 24, has been canceled for the second year in a row due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and local restrictions on large gatherings.

According to a release from the UPenn Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics, if health conditions on campus and in the city of Philadelphia continue to improve, Penn Relays organizers plan to host a local collegiate-only track and field meet on Saturday, April 24 that is consistent with the Ivy League Council of Presidents’ parameters regarding spring sport competition.

They will also aim to host a meet for open and professional athletes in the coming months and a scholastic meet this summer.

The 125-yr-old relay carnival features prominently on the calendar of Jamaicans who fly or drive from far and near to make noise for their country or their favorite school, college, and club. Many Jamaicans have even argued that the Penn Relays would be far less exciting without Jamaican high schoolers and professional athletes to clash with their US rivals.

The collegiate-only track and field meet would consist of local Division I, II, and III institutions within the Philadelphia region in a one-day event. All teams and participants would have to comply with the COVID-19 campus safety policies and procedures in place, including adhering to sufficient testing programs, symptom checking, contact tracing, mask wearing, and physical distancing, except when actively competing.  Only essential meet personnel will be permitted in Franklin Field and spectators are prohibited.

The open and professional meet would take place prior to US Olympic-qualifying deadlines and the scholastic meet later this summer.

“We are extremely disappointed to cancel the Penn Relays for a second year,” said Dave Johnson, the Frank Dolson Director of the Penn Relays.  “At the same time, we feel a strong obligation to the local track and field community to provide as much competition as safely possible during the course of the spring and summer.”

 Ticket Holders Information

In response to the frequently asked question regarding tickets purchased for last year’s event but were not reimbursed, ticket holders who opted to credit their 2020 balance toward 2021 will have the following options:

  1. Credit the purchase of 2020 Penn Relays tickets toward the 2022 event. As a benefit, crediting accounts will receive: Seat protection and priority access to change or add seats in 2022; Locked-in pricing for 2022 and 2023; Access to interview/question-and-answer with Relays VIPs in 2022; Opportunity to submit a message to be displayed on the video board during the 2022 Relays; and Special discounts on future Penn Athletics tickets
  2. Make a tax-deductible donation for the total base price of the ticket or a partial amount to the Penn Champions Club, to support the Friends of the Penn Relays or any other Penn Athletics varsity fund. Accounts donating $21 or more will be eligible to renew their 2020 seat locations in 2022.
  3. Request a refund for the base price of the tickets. Associated per ticket and order processing fees will not be refunded. If this option is selected