Advertisement

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread disruption to the lives of everyone in Tampa Bay and to so many businesses in our community. Here at the Tampa Bay Times, we continue to provide free, up-to-date information at tampabay.com/coronavirus as a public service. But we need your help. Please consider supporting us by subscribing or donating, and by sharing our work. Thank you.

  1. Sports

March Madness will go on in Tampa and elsewhere, but without fans?

Barring spectators is “not a rational strategy,” NCAA’s chief medical officer tells The Wall Street Journal.
In this 2011 file photo, Florida's Patric Young dunks during an NCAA Tournament game in Tampa. [Times]

Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the Tampa Bay area. For the latest news on the outbreak, go to our coronavirus page, which we are updating regularly. You also can sign up for our DayStarter newsletter to have the day’s news sent right to your inbox each morning for free.

Barring spectators from NCAA Tournament basketball games, including those scheduled March 19 and 21 in Tampa, is “not a rational strategy” for the association at this moment and is “very unlikely,” the association’s chief medical officer told the Wall Street Journal.

“I think a worst-case scenario is that it’s played behind closed doors,” Brian Hainline said Friday. “It would be very, very difficult to cancel a championship and have it at any other time.”

Concerns about the coronavirus have led to event cancellations in the U.S. and abroad. On Friday, the South By Southwest festival, which brings hundreds of thousands of people around the world to Austin, Texas, became the latest event called off to prevent the virus’ spread.

The NCAA’s options include screening players before the competition, screening spectators or relying on spectators to heed public service messages to stay home if they don’t feel good, said Carlos Del Rio, chairman of an NCAA advisory panel on the coronavirus.

All-session tickets for second and third-round games at Amalie Arena include six games and are available through ticketmaster.com for $210. Florida State is considered a favorite for a top-seed in the Tampa regional.

Related: Following news of first Florida coronavirus deaths, new case in Lee

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement