As the Miners men's basketball team (5-3, 1-1 C-USA) gets set to host Rice (8-2, 2-0) on Friday and Saturday for a back-to-back league series, the UTEP athletic department announced that limited fans (between 7-10%) will be allowed for the C-USA home opener at the Don Haskins Center.

The 7-10% capacity means that the Haskins Center will seat around 1,200 fans. The men's basketball season is sold out by season ticket holders, with no single game tickets available at the moment.

"We're excited to welcome fans back to the Haskins Center as we tip off the home portion of our Conference USA schedule against a long-time Texas rival," UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter said. "Remember, Miners Take Care of Miners. Don't come to the game if you're feeling sick, and be sure to follow all the CDC recommended guidelines -- social distance, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask. At the same time, we will do everything possible to provide a safe environment for our fans to enjoy the games."

Tuesday and Wednesday featured a bit of a spike in cases locally, seeing 493 and 511 new COVID-19 cases, respectively. The city saw 300-plus new cases during six of the first seven days into 2021. There are currently 34,757 active cases in El Paso, 447 currently hospitalized and 157 patients in ICU.

Both games will begin at 7 p.m. MT and both can be heard on 600 ESPN El Paso. Friday's contest will be streamed on CUSA TV, while ESPN+ will stream Saturday's game.

Southern Miss, who UTEP played against this past weekend, had fans at the first two conference games and held 1,200 fans for both matchups. UTEP and Rice are the only two conference affiliates that haven't had fans attend their home games. Currently, Marshall leads the league in average attendance (1,244 fans), followed by LA Tech (1,200), North Texas (1,218) and Western Kentucky (1,041).

Per UTEP athletics, ticket holders who have questions about their tickets or parking passes should call the Eisenberg Family Ticket Office at (915) 747-UTEP or email tickets@utep.edu. As a reminder, all seats are reserved and fans must remain in their assigned seats.

For policies and other helpful tips involving UTEP basketball attendance, visit  www.utepminers.com/bbfanprotocols.

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