MAC, Big West Basketball Tournaments to Be Closed to Fans Because of Coronavirus

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 10, 2020

Honda Center is photographed on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The Mid-American Conference and Big West Conference women's and men's basketball tournaments will go on as scheduled but without most spectators because of the coronavirus outbreak, per a pair of league statements Tuesday.

Chris Vannini of The Athletic posted the MAC statement, which noted the personnel allowed in the building:

Chris Vannini @ChrisVannini

BREAKING: The MAC bball tournaments in will be closed to the public. "Only credentialed institutional personnel, student-athlete family members, credentialed media, television and radio crews, and official team party members will be permitted for attendance for the tournaments." https://t.co/2Hbq6BxB1W

The Big West announced their decision soon afterward:

Big West Conference @BigWestSports

🚨The Big West Conference has announced that the league's basketball tournaments will be played without spectators as a precaution for preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 📰 » https://t.co/I0PtYUIqTP https://t.co/Wkh8esQhzg

The MAC tournaments will take place at Cleveland's Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of the Big West tournaments will occur at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

The MAC's decision was partially in response to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine's recommendation Tuesday that all sporting events in the state be held without fans.

At least one conference has decided to take it one step further, however, as the Ivy League announced the cancellation of its women's and men's tournaments. The Princeton women and Yale men were declared the conference's champions and representatives in their respective NCAA tournaments.

The NCAA women's and men's tournaments are slated to begin next week, prompting concern about the status of both competitions as the coronavirus outbreak continues.

In response to Gov. DeWine's recommendation, the NCAA released a statement:

"The NCAA continues to assess how COVID-19 impacts the conduct of our tournaments and events. We are consulting with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel, who are leading experts in epidemiology and public health, and will make decisions in the coming days."

Per CNN.com, more than 113,000 people worldwide have been infected, and over 4,000 people have died.

As of 6:49 p.m. ET on Tuesday, 973 people in the United States had confirmed cases, and 30 patients had died, per the New York Times.


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