NCAA says that only essential team staff members and some family members will be allowed to attend March Madness games this year
March Madness will be closed off to the general public over Coronavirus concerns. Earlier today, NCAA President Mark Emmert said that he has decided to play both the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Tournament with attendance limited to only some family members of players and coaches as well as strictly essential team staff members. This decision comes after a panel of medical experts recommended that the games not be open to the general public.
Emmert told the Associated Press, “the decision was based on a combination of the information provided by national and state officials, by the advisory team that we put together of medical experts from across the country, and looking at what was going to be in the best interest of our student-athletes, of course… But also the public health implications of all of this. We recognize our tournaments bring people from all around the country together. They’re not just regional events. They’re big national events. It’s a very, very hard decision for all the obvious reasons.”
Emmert has said that the NCAA is considering the possibility of moving the Men’s Final Four from Mercedes-Benz Stadium to a smaller arena. The NCAA has also said it is considering using smaller arenas for regional games as well.
Both the Men’s NCAA Tournament and the Women’s NCAA Tournament are scheduled to begin next week.