NCAA announces March Madness will happen without fans in the stands


NCAA president Mark Emmert said Wednesday that all NCAA championship events this month and next will go on without fan attendance. Both men’s and women’s basketball tournaments were included in this announcement. The decision will directly impact the Twin Cities, which was set to host the NCAA Wrestling Championships, March 19-21 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Emmert’s statement reads:

“The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance.

While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States. This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes. We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families.

Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.”