The NCAA Tournament games next week in Spokane and around the country will be in front of nearly empty arenas.
NCAA President Mark Emmert statement on limiting attendance at NCAA events including the Big Dance.
The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and ourCOVID-19 advisory panel.Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, 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.
The Spokane Arena is set to host the first and second rounds, but due concerns of the coronavirus the games will likely be in front of mostly empty venue.
Gonzaga is a virtual lock for a top seed and could play its first pair of games at the nearby Spokane Arena, unfortunately the home court advantage could lose the presence of the local 'Zags fans.