NCAA Basketball Tournaments Will Host Fans
Last Friday, the NCAA announced that they would welcome fans to Indianapolis and San Antonio, where men’s and women’s basketball tournaments are to be held this season. This move will generate millions in ticket revenue, but it will also risk further spread of COVID-19.
On March 18, a 68-team men’s tournament will be played in Indianapolis in front of crowds of up to 25 percent capacity at sites ranging from 9,100-seat Hinkle Fieldhouse to Lucas Oil Fieldhouse, which can normally seat up to 70,000 fans for the regional finals and the Final Four.
On March 21, the 64-team women’s tournament will begin in San Antonio, allowing 17 percent capacity from the regional semifinals through the championship finals. Those games will take place at the Alamodome, which has a 31,900 seat capacity for basketball.
It should be noted that crowds at the first and second-round games, especially those played in smaller arenas, will be limited to several hundred friends and family members. These limits were decided after consultation with local health authorities, according to the NCAA.
The NCAA decided to move its entire tournaments, which are each normally played at more than a dozen sites around the country, to Indianapolis and San Antonio to create restrictive environments to increase the safety of the dozens of teams involved and to avoid interruptions because of positive tests.
Fans will be required only to wear masks and practice social distancing in arenas. The NCAA said it would announce information on ticket sales for the basketball tournaments next month.