With the growing outbreak of the coronavirus causing some sporting leagues to play their games without fans watching in order to keep the virus more contained. But it looks like the NCAA is planning to keep their annual March Madness tournament next week with spectators being present.
Organizers and officials for the event were debating whether or not to take spectators out of the event, but it looks like they have decided to stay true to their original plan.
This comes after Italy, who is experiencing one of the biggest outbreaks in the world, has prohibited spectators from attending all sporting events for the month. In the U.K., pre-game handshakes have been prohibited from all matches as well.
Talks of these kinds of regulations have been going on in the U.S. now as the virus has begun to spread here. With March Madness and the NBA Finals right around the corner, there have been concerns for the health of spectators going to the games. The NCAA tested this out this past week by playing the first two rounds of the Division III tournament without spectators, but it looks like they have decided to not continue with this decision.
“The advice we’re getting from our experts is playing without fans is not called for,” explained NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball, Dan Gavitt.
Conference tournaments for Division I are already underway with more starting this week. The NCAA Tournament will begin on March March 17th and in Dayton with the four play-in games. The first round begins the following day with games being held in Albany (NY), Spokane (WA), St. Louis (MO), Tampa (FL), Greensboro (NC), Omaha (NE), Sacramento (CA) and Cleveland (OH). The championship game will be held on April 6th in Atlanta.