Fans banned from rest of Big 12 tournament in Kansas City due to coronavirus fears

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Commissioner Bob Bowlsby has announced that only 125 tickets will be given to each team for the Big 12 tournament starting on March 12, slashing access for the thousands of fans that have swarmed the metro for the games.

There will be no pep bands or cheerleaders. The access will only be for the team athletes, personnel and medical professionals.

Limited access also includes the women’s tournament at Municipal Auditorium.

“I would like to apologize to all of our fans,” Bowlsby said.

This comes in the wake of WHO announcing the coronavirus as a pandemic and the NCAA cutting fan access to March Maddness, all within the course of one day.

“One of the things we heard is that it’s going to get much, much worse… Advice was given to not assemble in large crowds,” Bowlsby said. “We’ll certainly go through a refund process.”

Fans are still allowed during the first night on March 11.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, Health Department Director Dr. Rex Archer and Emergency Medical Services Medical Director Dr. Erica Carney released a joint statement after the decision was made:

While Kansas City was eager and prepared to host fans from across the country during the Big 12 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments this weekend, keeping our community – and their players – safe remains our top priority. We support the Big 12’s decision to limit fan attendance at all tournament games and we still look forward to welcoming the Big 12’s men’s and women’s teams to our region.

Power & Light Dist. officials stated they will make their own decision whether tournament events across the street will go on as planned.

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