The NCAA has decided to allow a limited number of fans to attend this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
In a release announcing the move, the NCAA said that venues will be allowed up to 25 percent capacity — including all participants, essential staff and family members of each participating team’s student-athletes and coaches and a reduced number of fans.
The decision to allow fans was made in conjunction with state and local health authorities.
“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,” NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said.
Fans and attendees will be required to wear face coverings and to remain physically distant during tournament events.
“We continue to use the knowledge we have gained over the season on how to conduct games in a safe environment,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said. “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.”
The entire NCAA tournament will take place within the state of Indiana this year. Host venues include Ball State, Butler, the Horizon League, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Purdue. Capacity will vary depending on the venue.
“The number one priority for decisions around the tournament continues to be the safety and well-being of everyone participating in the event,” NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline said. “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.”