March Madness will include fans, for the NCAA Tournament that begins in a month and the Big East Tournament that starts in less than three weeks.
On Friday, the NCAA Tournament announced there will be up to 25 percent capacity for all 67 games played in the state of Indiana and the Big East Tournament is also expected to include spectators at Madison Square Garden, sources told The Post.
The NCAA said more information will be made available after March 1 for the tournament that will see most of its 67 games played in the city of Indianapolis, as the NCAA creates a bubble for participating teams.
As for the Big East Tournament, tickets will not go on sale to the public, according to sources. But an allotment of tickets will be made available to each school and the Garden will be able to be filled up at 10 percent capacity, as is the case for Knicks and Rangers games starting next week after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that all arenas and stadiums can have fans in attendance at limited numbers. The 10 percent capacity would equate to approximately 2,000 fans at the 20,789-seat Garden.
The Big East’s plans, sources said, have yet to be finalized, but there is a strong sense that there will be spectators at the event. The league has yet to decide if schools who are not playing in a particular session will be given tickets for that time or only when their teams are in action. The four-day tournament starts on March 10 and ends on the 13th.
The 25 percent capacity for the NCAA Tournament will include participants, essential staff and family members of each participating team’s student-athletes and coaches along with fans. Face coverings and physical distancing will be mandatory. A majority of teams this year have played without fans, particularly in the northeast.
“We continue to use the knowledge we have gained over the season on how to conduct games in a safe environment,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “I want to thank our host universities and conferences, the Indiana State Health Department, and the leaders in the Marion, Monroe and Tippecanoe county health departments as they help make that possible.”
Games will be hosted by Ball State, Butler, the Horizon League, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Purdue. The Indiana Convention Center will also be used as a practice facility.