(GRAY NEWS/KEYC NEWS NOW) — The NCAA has announced that although March Madness basketball tournament games will carry on as scheduled, only essential personnel and family members will be allowed to attend due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
NCAA president Mark Emmert made the announcement Wednesday, saying, “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.”
Both the men’s and women’s tournaments are scheduled to begin next week.
The NCAA is also recommending that schools limit all collegiate sports to essential personnel and family members due to the coronavirus.
The news comes as U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis is preparing to host the 2020 NCAA Division I Wrestling Tournament, with the first day of matches scheduled for March 19.
The NCAA Division I Wrestling Tournament Selection Show is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. and will be streamed on NCAA.com.