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NCAA announces fan attendance policy for upcoming championships

by Chris Radford, NCAA

The NCAA will allow up to 25% capacity for its 2021 winter championships and Division I fall championships being held in the spring. Exact capacity percentages will vary by site, depending on state and local health mandates due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once finalized, announcements will be made for each championship.

The capacities for the Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships were announced Friday. The men’s tournament, hosted in the Indianapolis region, will allow up to 25% capacity in all rounds. The women’s tournament, hosted in the San Antonio region, will allow a limited capacity of up to 17% from the Sweet 16 through the Final Four, with all of those rounds being played at the Alamodome.

“Our partnership with state and local health authorities will continue to be vital to providing safe championship experiences,” NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline said. “Each championship site presents different circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic and, therefore, allow varied capacities. Still, team testing and safety protocols will remain consistent as our No. 1 priority surrounding all championships remains the safety and well-being of all involved.”

Championships hosted in cities and states that do not permit spectators or where the site is deemed to lack capacity for spectators from a health and safety standpoint will allow only essential personnel within the competition venue.

Championships hosted in cities and states that permit spectators will allow any percentage up to 25% of overall venue capacity. Specific attendance numbers will vary with each venue due to capacity. More information about ticket sales will be available closer to the championship dates.

“The national office is working very hard to provide the best experience possible for student-athletes who missed out on these championship opportunities last year,” Senior Vice President of Championships Joni Comstock said. “Although this year’s championships may be different, we are committed to providing a memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience for all student-athletes.”

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

Additionally, all events will be livestreamed so fans will have the opportunity to experience the competition.

Capacity for spring championships will be determined later as the NCAA continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic