Limited number of fans to be allowed at NCAA Tournament games

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FILE – In this March 14, 2012, file photo, a player runs across the NCAA logo during practice in Pittsburgh before an NCAA tournament college basketball game. A court decision the NCAA says will hurt college sports by allowing student-athletes to be paid “vast sums” of money will go into effect. That’s after the Supreme Court declined Tuesday to intervene at this point. Justice Elena Kagan denied the NCAA’s request to put a lower court ruling on hold at least temporarily while the NCAA asks the Supreme Court to take up the case. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The NCAA announced Friday it will allow a limited number of fans at the 2021 men’s NCAA Tournament.

Fans will be allowed to watch all rounds and the Final Four.

“The decision to allow up to 25 percent capacity with physical distancing was made in conjunction with state and local health authorities due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the NCAA said.

The entire tournament will be held in Indiana, with the majority of the tournament’s 67 games taking place in Indianapolis, as previously announced.

The event capacity will include all participants, essential staff and family members of each participating team’s student-athletes and coaches and a reduced number of fans.

All attendees must wear face coverings and physically distance during the event. Thorough cleaning, disinfecting and safety measures will be a priority in all venues.

“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.”

Games will be played on two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium as well as at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Mackey Arena at Purdue and Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

Only one game at a time will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Championship weekend is still scheduled for April 3 and April 5.

The tournament was set to have 13 preliminary round sites, including Raleigh, but the NCAA said having the games in one location is the most effective way to “conduct a safe and healthy March Madness for all participants for the 2021 championship.”

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