The NCAA has decided to allow a limited capacity of fans at their upcoming NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament games in Indianapolis.
This announcement comes one day after NCAA Sr. Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt told reporters on a zoom call with the Greater Columbus Sports Commission that he expected there would be some level of general fan attendance permitted during next month's national tournament.
The NCAA says they will allow up to 25 percent capacity in each venue. All attendees must wear facial coverings and must physically distance during the event. Thorough cleaning, disinfecting and safety measures will be a priority in all venues.
“We continue to use the knowledge we have gained over the season on how to conduct games in a safe environment,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “I want to thank our host universities and conferences, the Indiana State Health Department, and the leaders in the Marion, Monroe and Tippecanoe county health departments as they help make that possible.”
“This year’s tournament will be like no other, and while we know it won’t be the same for anyone, we are looking forward to providing a memorable experience for the student-athletes, coaches and fans at a once-in-a-lifetime tournament,” said Dan Gavitt in the NCAA's press release. “After the cancellation of the 2020 tournament, we are happy to welcome some fans back to all rounds of the Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.”
“The number one priority for decisions around the tournament continues to be the safety and well-being of everyone participating in the event,” said NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline. “We have been in regular conversations with the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group and local health officials to make sure we have the right protocols in place to provide a safe environment. Additionally, IU Health is providing critical testing and monitoring services enabling us to safely conduct the tournament.”
The tournament will be hosted by Ball State, Butler, the Horizon League, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Purdue, which are lending their facilities and staffs to assist with tournament operations. The Indiana Convention Center will be used as a practice facility, with multiple courts set up inside the venue.
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