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Traditional 2021 Penn Relays Canceled; Plan to Sponsor Three Separate Track Meets in Coming Months

March 14, 2021

PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics has announced that the 2021 Penn Relays, originally scheduled for April 22 through 24, has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and local restrictions on large gatherings. If health conditions on campus and in the city of Philadelphia continue to improve, the Penn Relays plans 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. The Penn Relays will also aim to host a meet for open and professional athletes in the coming months and a scholastic meet this summer.  

“It is disappointing that we once again have to cancel one of the landmark events of the spring in Philadelphia and in track and field, but collectively we want to ensure the safety of our athletes, campus, community, and spectators,” said Dr. M. Grace Calhoun, the T. Gibbs Kane, Jr. W’69 Director of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Pennsylvania. “Our goal on campus has been to safely move through the Ivy athletic activity phases to host competition and we remain hopeful that we will be able to provide some competitive opportunities for as many athletes as possible who have missed out on so much this past year. Splitting the meet into three distinct group of participants provides the greatest opportunity to host safe competition.”  

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 will 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. 

“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.” 

The open and professional meet will take place prior to US Olympic-qualifying deadlines and the scholastic meet will be held later this summer. More information on both meets will be released at a later date.

Ticket Information 
Ticket holders who opted to credit their 2020 balance toward 2021 will have the following options:  

  • 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/Q&A with Penn Relays VIPs in 2022 
      • Opportunity to submit a message to be displayed on the video board during the 2022 Penn Relays 
      • Special discounts on future Penn Athletics tickets 
  • 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. 
  • 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, seats will be released from the account and will not be eligible for renewal in 2022.  

Current ticket holders can click here to notify the Penn Ticket Office of their selection. The deadline to notify the ticket office is June 23, 2021. Please note that the 2022 renewal period is expected to occur in Fall 2021, earlier than prior years. It is anticipated that renewal balances will be due prior to January 1, 2022. 

If you have questions, please contact the Penn Athletics Ticket Office at (215) 898-6151 between 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday-Friday, or by email at Please note, due to the anticipated volume of calls, please allow 5 to 7 business days for a staff member to return your call or email.  

Click here for frequently asked questions about the 2021 Penn Relays and ticket information.


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