INDIANAPOLIS – While there has been a college basketball season, there is some lament for both participants and fans that arenas have mostly been empty around the country this season.
Restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have, at the very least, limited the amount of spectators that can watch a game live. In a number of venues, no one outside of the players, coaches, game staff, and media have been allowed in.
But that’s going to change in about a month, as the NCAA is going to allow at least some to watch “March Madness” live in 2021.
On Friday, the NCAA announced that they will have limited attendance at games during the NCAA Tournament and Final Four, which will be played entirely in Indianapolis.
Venues for the tournament are allowed to have up to 25 percent capacity for the games, which will include “essential staff and family members of each participating team’s student-athletes and coaches and a reduced number of fans.”
“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 in a statement on Friday. “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.”
Games will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium (Final Four), Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis. Contests will also be staged at Mackey Arena at Purdue University in West Lafayette and Assembly Hall at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Already Indiana has announced that just 500 fans will be allowed at games.