The coronavirus pandemic is putting the “madness” in March Madness, and not in a good way.
According to a report from the Athletic’s Shams Charania, the NCAA’s men’s and women’s tournaments are to be held without fans in attendance. Only essential staff and a limited amount of family will be allowed to attend games.
The NCAA's men's and women's tournaments will be held without fans — and only essential staff and limited family attendance.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 11, 2020
This is a drastic measure, considering the NCAA brings in around $1 billion in revenue from March Madness. Barring fans from the annual tournament would cut revenue derived from ticket sales, concessions, parking and other sources.
More importantly than the NCAA’s bottom line, this will also affect those essential game-day staffers who rely on their jobs to provide for themselves and their families, and the host communities who benefit from in March Madness tourism.
Regardless of the quality of this year’s college basketball talent, this will be a tournament remembered for years to come.