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Coronavirus: No Fans Will Attend NCAA Basketball Tournament Games, Including Tampa

Thomas Iacobucci/WUSF Public Media
Only essential staff and players' families will be allowed inside Amalie Arena in Tampa to watch first- and second-round NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament games.

NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament games, including those next week at Amalie Arena, will not be played in front of fans due to concerns over coronavirus.

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In a statement on Wednesday, NCAA President Mark Emmert said the decision was made “in the best interest of public health.”

Emmert said the only essential staff, and the players’ families, will be permitted to attend.

The decision comes after the NCAA's COVID-19 advisory panel recommended against playing sporting events open to the general public.

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Emmert also says the NCAA is looking into moving the men's Final Four from Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium to a smaller arena.

Tampa will host first- and second-round NCAA Men’s Tournament games on March 19 and 21 at Amalie Arena.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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