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No plans to cancel March Madness, Wrestlemania as organizers monitor coronavirus

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NEW YORK – MARCH 18: The World Wrestling Entertainment logo hangs on a wall at a media conference announcing the all-star lineup of WWE WrestleMania XIX at ESPN Zone in Times Square March 18, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – With health officials monitoring three cases of coronavirus in the Tampa Bay area, major events are still scheduled to happen as planned.

“We continue to monitor the situation alongside local, state and federal agencies in addition to our partners at the NCAA and WWE,” Rob Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, said. “We remain focused on being nimble throughout the remainder of the planning processes as well as preparing diligently to make sure each of these events are a big success.”

With March Madness coming up, thousands of NCAA fans will descend on Amalie Arena for games on March 19 and 21. The NCAA has established a coronavirus committee to closely watch the situation.

“The NCAA is committed to conducting its championships and events in a safe and responsible manner,” NCAA Chief Operation Officer Donald Remy said. “Today we are planning to conduct our championships as planned, however, we are evaluating the COVID-19 situation daily and will make decisions accordingly.”

While March Madness comes to Tampa, the Valspar Championship will be held at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor March 19 through March 22. Organizers say they are taking precautions, but have no immediate plans to cancel the golf tournament.

“We work on that issue in conjunction with the PGA TOUR which has events in Florida in the next three weeks, including the Valspar Championship. So far, there is no indication that the situation will have any significant impact, but we are being vigilant,” Tracy West with the Valspar Championship said. “We will take every precaution to sanitize our public areas and will have plenty of sanitizer available for our fans.”

Next month, tens of thousands of wrestling fans will fill Raymond James Stadium for Wrestlemania. The major event is still scheduled as planned for April 5.

“The health and safety of our fans, performers and employees are our top priorities and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners and government officials in Tampa Bay. We remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, and like other entertainment properties in the U.S., there are currently no plans to cancel or postpone our upcoming events,” WWE said in a statement.

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