NCAA Tournaments to be played without fans in attendance

Coronavirus

Only essential staff and limited family can be in attendance

Payton Pritchard #3 of the Oregon Ducks on February 08, 2020 in Corvallis, Oregon. (Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — NCAA Division I basketball tournament games will be played without fans in the arenas because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement Wednesday he made the decision to conduct both the men’s and women’s tournaments, which begin next week, with only essential staff and limited family in attendance.

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The 68-team field for the men’s tournament is scheduled to be announced Sunday and the 64-team women’s tournament field is to be unveiled Monday. Games begin Tuesday and Wednesday on the men’s side in Dayton, Ohio, where it was announced that the First Four NCAA Tournament games and the first and second round tournament games scheduled for Cleveland will be played without any fans in attendance.

In baseball, the Seattle Mariners announced Wednesday it would not be holding any of their scheduled home games through the end of March.

With Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement that he is banning all group events with over 250 people in three counties, the Mariners are working with the Major League Baseball Office of the Commissioner to find alternatives for games scheduled at T-Mobile Park through the end of the month.

Seattle’s MLS team the Sounders also have the same predicament and postponed their March 21 match against Dallas.

The COVID-19 Effect on Sports

College basketball

  • The Big East tournament will limit locker room access to student athletes, coaches, and essential team personnel.
  • The Ivy League canceled its conference tournament; practices and games through the remainder of the academic calendar will also be cancelled.
  • The College Basketball Invitational Tournament has been canceled.
  • The Atlantic 10 conference is suspending handshakes for its conference tournament.

NBA

  • The Golden State Warriors will play home games without fans in attendance.
  • Players have been advised to not shake hands at the end of the game.
  • Locker room access has been limited.

NHL

  • The Toronto Maple Leafs halted air travel for their European-based scouts, amateur scouts and professional scouts that have territory throughout North America. Team scouts that need to travel will do so by car.
  • Locker room access has been limited.
  • The San Jose Sharks are likely to have a handful of home games postponed or played without fans in attendance.

MLB

  • The Seattle Mariners are looking to move their home games in March to a new facility (outside of Seattle).

XFL

  • The Seattle Dragons will host the Los Angeles Wildcats on Sunday without fans in attendance.

MLS

  • The Seattle Sounders postponed their March 21 match against Dallas FC.

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