March Madness 2020 To Be Played Without Fans Due To Coronavirus
An avalanche of bad news has hit the world of sports in the last two weeks due to the spread of the COVID-19 a.k.a Coronavirus. March Madness is the latest victim on the list.
The NCAA announced the 2020 March Madness tournament won’t have fans in the stands to prevent spreading the virus. The only personnel allowed in the arena are essential staff members, players, and limited family attendance.
The NCAA Board of Governors announced the decision on Wednesday and displayed it in a short statement.
An Eventful Wednesday For NCAA Basketball Fans
Let’s recap the avalanche of news on Wednesday, March 11th, surrounding the sporting events and the Coronavirus outbreak:
12:35 PM – World Health Organization calls coronavirus outbreak a ‘pandemic’
The World Health Organization had a press conference early on Wednesday. The WOH declared the coronavirus outbreak as a world pandemic.
“We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic”, WHO Director Gen. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news conference in Geneva.
2:30 PM – Warriors to play without fans
The first professional team in the United States to declare they will play without fans were the Golden State Warriors.
The city of San Francisco banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people. The Warriors reacted by saying they will play in an empty Chase Center on Thursday Night when facing the Brooklyn Nets.
The San Francisco Giants called off their exhibition game against the Oakland A’s. The game supposed to happen on March 24th at the Oracle Park, but the franchise canceled it after the city’s ban.
3:00 PM – PSG fans don’t care about the coronavirus spread
PSG and Borussia Dortmund played their Champions League game without fans in the stands. The PSG fans didn’t care about the ruling and instead supported their team outside the stadium in large numbers.
4:40 PM – March Madness possible cancelation or games without fans
CBS reported there was a chance to call off the entire March Madness tournament.
The NCAA threw out that notion by posting that the NCAA tournament will go on, but fans won’t be allowed in the stands.
March Madness Not The Only Sport Affected
March Madness joins a long list of sporting events affected by the Coronavirus spread.
The Italian Serie A shut down this week. The Italian soccer league might come back on April 3rd, but at this point, it doesn’t look good.
The UEFA Champions League game between Valencia and Atalanta this week didn’t have one single fan in the stands. The same happened with the meeting between PSG and Borussia Dortmund.
Two games between Italian and Spanish teams in the Europa League got canceled after Spain banned all flights coming from Italy.
The J-League in Japan shut down three weeks ago, and it extended the prohibition to play for at least one more month.