INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — With March Madness around the corner, the NCAA announced it is allowing a limited number of fans at the 2021 Divison 1 Men's Basketball Championship, including all rounds and the Final Four. The NCAA will allow up to 25% capacity with physical distancing, a decision made "in conjunction with state and local health authorities due to the COVID-19 pandemic," according to the NCAA.
What You Need To Know
- NCAA announced it is allowing a limited number of fans at the 2021 Divison 1 Men's Basketball Championship
- The NCAA will allow up to 25% capacity with physical distancing
- Event capacity will include all participants, essential staff and family members of each participating team's student-athletes and coaches, and a reduced number of fans
- Attendees will be required to wear face coverings and physically distance themselves
Event capacity will include all participants, essential staff and family members of each participating team's student-athletes and coaches, and a reduced number of fans. Attendees will be required to wear face coverings and physically distance themselves. Thorough cleaning, disinfecting, and safety measures will be a priority in all venues, the NCAA said.
“We continue to use the knowledge we have gained over the season on how to conduct games in a safe environment,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “I want to thank our host universities and conferences, the Indiana State Health Department, and the leaders in the Marion, Monroe, and Tippecanoe county health departments as they help make that possible.”
In January, the NCAA announced the 2021 Men's Basketball Championship would be played entirely in Indiana, with the majority of the tournament's 67 games taking place in Indianapolis.
“This year’s tournament will be like no other, and while we know it won’t be the same for anyone, we are looking forward to providing a memorable experience for the student-athletes, coaches and fans at a once-in-a-lifetime tournament,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball. “After the cancellation of the 2020 tournament, we are happy to welcome some fans back to all rounds of the Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.”
The NCAA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols for the championship include testing, face coverings, physical distancing, and contact tracing requirements before teams arrive and throughout their stay in the tournament.
“The No. 1 priority for decisions around the tournament continues to be the safety and well-being of everyone participating in the event,” said NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline. “We have been in regular conversations with the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group and local health officials to make sure we have the right protocols in place to provide a safe environment. Additionally, IU Health is providing critical testing and monitoring services enabling us to safely conduct the tournament.”
This year's tournament will be hosted by Ball State, Butler, the Horizon League, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and Purdue, which are providing facilities and staff to assist with the tournament. The Indiana Convention Center will be used as a practice facility, with multiple courts set up inside the venue.