NCAA on coronavirus: No fans allowed at tournaments including rounds in Tampa

Sports

TAMPA (WFLA) – The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel has announced sporting events including the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Tournament will take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance.

The President of the NCAA Mark Emmert released in a statement on the issue:

I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance. While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States. This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes. We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families. Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.

NCAA President Mark Emmert

The first and second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is scheduled to take place on March 19 and 21 at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

A spokesperson for Amalie Arena tells 8 On Your Side:

“We understand the NCAA’s decision and will be working with our partners at the NCAA on next steps moving forward, including the process for ticket refunds. We will share all pertinent information when we have it.” 

News Channel 8 has reached out to the Tampa Bay Sports Commission but has yet to hear back.

The NCAA says they will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.

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