2021 Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament to Allow Up to 25% Fan Capacity

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2021

Official March Madness 2020 tournament basketballs are seen in a store room at the CHI Health Center Arena, in Omaha, Neb., Monday, March 16, 2020. Omaha was to host a first and second round in the NCAA college basketball Division I tournament, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nati Harnik/Associated Press

One month away from the start of the 2021 men's basketball tournament, the NCAA has announced it will allow a limited number of fans to attend games. 

Per an official statement, capacity will be limited to 25 percent at arenas with social distance protocols in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The capacity total will include team members, essential staff, family members from both teams playing in games and regular 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. "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."  

Friday's announcement comes after the NCAA previously laid out plans to hold the entire tournament in the Indianapolis area. 

The Final Four and national championship game were already scheduled to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Two basketball courts will be installed at the stadium to allow for multiple games to be played at the same time during the early rounds. 

The city will now host a majority of the tournament's 67 games, but other venues around the area will also be used to avoid sending all of the teams to one spot. Purdue University, Indiana University, Butler University and IUPUI will also host games. 

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers, will be used for games during the first two weekends. 

The 2021 men's basketball tournament is set to begin with First Four games on March 18. The Final Four will be held on April 3, followed by the national title game two days later. The full 68-team field is scheduled to be announced on March 14.