© 2022 Lakeshore Public Radio
8625 Indiana Place
Merrillville, IN 46410
Northwest Indiana - WLPR 89.1 FM
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Get the latest on the global Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic as it impacts Northwest Indiana, the state, country, and globe. Bookmark this page as there will be several updates each day from Lakeshore Public Radio, IPB News, NPR, and the Associated Press.

NCAA Will Close Men’s, Women’s Division I Basketball Championship Events To Fans


The NCAA is closing events to fans including the upcoming men’s and women’s Division I basketball tournament games over concerns about the coronavirus.

March Madness is one of the organization’s most profitable sporting events bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

In a statement, President Mark Emmert said the decision comes after careful thought on what would be best for the public, including fans, coaches and 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,” Emmert said. 

Essential staff and limited family will still be able to attend.

READ MORE: What Do You Need To Know About Coronavirus? We’ve Got Answers.

The move comes after the Ivy League canceled its tournaments and other conferences implemented similar moves to ban fans from games.

Purdue University professor Josh Boyd says with ticket refunds and less ad revenue, it’s going to be a financial hit for the organization.

“Obviously they’ll have their sponsorship deals for the TV contract,” says Boyd. “But anything, and I don’t know exactly how they have this arranged, but any deals in the arena, ads shown in the arena, or branding around the arena that might be there just for the tournament obviously they won’t get the revenue from that.” 

Wednesday night, the Big Ten also announced fans would no longer be able to attend men’s basketball conference games in Indianapolis the rest of the tournament.

This story has been updated.

Contact Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Related Content