A limited number of fans — arenas at 25 percent capacity — will be able to attend the men's NCAA Tournament, including the Final Four.
The NCAA made the announcement on Friday. All tournament games will be played in Indiana, mostly in Indianapolis. The limited capacity will apply to all venues and include participants, essential staff and family members of each team. Plus a reduced number of fans will be in the stands.
Every fan will be required to wear a face covering and physically distance during the games. The decision for limited attendance because of COVID-19 was made after consulting with local authorities.
Last year, the NCAA Tournament was the first major sports championship canceled because of COVID-19.
"This year's tournament will be like no other, and while we know it won't be the same for anyone, we are looking forward to providing a memorable experience for the student-athletes, coaches and fans at a once-in-a-lifetime tournament," said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball. "After the cancellation of the 2020 tournament, we are happy to welcome some fans back to all rounds of the Division I Men's Basketball Tournament."
A few fans in the stands would be better than none, said Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin, whose No. 20-ranked Tigers travel to South Carolina on Saturday.
"Hopefully they're your fans," Martin said. "It's energy, it's passion. You dream of opportunities to play in the NCAA Tournament ... our guys have put themselves in a position to be a part of that."
No ticket information was released by the NCAA with Friday's announcement.
The Division I women's tournament will be held in and around San Antonio. Only players and their guests will be allowed inside the first- and second-round games. Attendance will be limited to 17 percent capacity for the Sweet 16 through the Final Four at the Alamodome.