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NCAA President: NCAA Tournament Will Be Played Without Fans In Attendance

Mar 11, 2020, 2:41 PM | Updated: 3:49 pm

NCAA March Madness...

A general view of a 'March Madness' logo is seen during practice before the First Round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 20, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – NCAA president Mark Emmert announced that the upcoming men’s and women’s basketball tournament will be played without fans in attendance due to concerns with the coronavirus.

Emmert’s announcement was released on Wednesday, March 11.

“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,” Emmert said in a statement.

The NCAA is also looking into the possibility of moving the Final Four games out of their originally scheduled venue of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and into a smaller arena in Atlanta. Sites for regional games could also be moved to other facilities.

Other Sporting Events Impacted By Coronavirus

NBA

The Golden State Warriors will become the first NBA team to play a game in their home arena without fans due to rising concerns about Coronavirus. The Warriors issued a press release saying their game Thursday night will be played at Chase Center against the Brooklyn Nets in front of an empty arena.

The Warriors have canceled or postponed all other events at the Chase Center through March 21, guests who purchased tickets will either be refunded or given tickets to the rescheduled events.

NBA owners are scheduled to take part in a conference call later today to determine further action regarding coronavirus.

MLB

The San Francisco Giants have canceled their preseason game against the Oakland Athletics schedule for March 24 at Oracle Park.

The Seattle Mariners will not play any home games during the month of March.

MLS

Elsewhere, the Seattle Sounders FC have postponed their March 21 match against Dallas FC which was set to be played on March 21 at CenturyLink Field in Washington.

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How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.

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NCAA President: NCAA Tournament Will Be Played Without Fans In Attendance