UPDATE March 11, 5:20 p.m.: We might seem some venue changes for the NCAA Tournament as well.
Mark Emmert says the NCAA is looking to move the Final Four out of Mercedes-Benz Stadium into a smaller venue in Atlanta.— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) March 11, 2020
Regional sites could also be moved from the currently scheduled arenas to smaller venues in same cities.
The plan is to keep sites for the 1st round as is.
UPDATE March 11, 4:37 p.m.: The NCAA announced it will hold the men’s and women’s tournaments without fans. Only essential personnel and limited family members will be allowed to attend.
UPDATE: The NCAA issued a follow-up statement in which they state they’re continuing to assess the situation, “and will make decisions in the coming days.”
The NCAA continues to assess how COVID-19 impacts the conduct of our tournaments and events. We are consulting with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel, who are leading experts in epidemiology and public health, and will make decisions in the coming days.
The NCAA issued a statement today following the Ivy League’s decision to cancel its postseason tournament due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. The organization said member schools and conferences handle regular season and conference tournament decisions, while the NCAA will continuing assessing for the national tournament.
While that decision can be left up to the individual schools, as Bryan Fischer of College Football Talk points out, there’s a difference in how the NCAA and its individual members are handling the situation.
It’s strange to me that the chairman of the NCAA Board of Governors has cancelled classes at his own school for the rest of the month due to COVID-19 but there’s not enough “guidence” to limit or cancel even bigger gatherings like at sports events. https://t.co/1Y5WsJs15p— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) March 10, 2020
That chair of the NCAA Board of Governors is Michael Drake, President of Ohio State University. OSU cancelled in-person classes until March 30th yesterday.
With between 10,000 and 20,000 people scheduled to gather in large arenas across the country beginning one week from Thursday for the 2020 NCAA Tournament, it seems for now the NCAA intends to move forward with the biggest event in college sports as scheduled. This comports with what chair of the men’s basketball committee Dan Gavitt said last Sunday on CBS as his fellow selection committee members prepared for their sequester to determine the field of 68.
So far, despite major events from South by Southwest to potentially San Jose Sharks games being cancelled or disrupted, college athletics is going on an ad hoc basis.