UPDATE: Fans have been banned from rest of Big 12 tournament in Kansas City due to coronavirus fears, starting on March 12.
EARLIER: KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Big 12 fans can still plan to attend the first night of the tournament at the Sprint Center after the NCAA announced plans to ban fans from their upcoming tournament, a spokesperson with the Big 12 Conference told FOX4.
Earlier on March 11, NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement that NCAA Division I basketball tournament games will not be open to the general public due to coronavirus concerns. This will affect March Madness, which is set to begin on Tuesday, March 17.
The games will only be physically accessible to essential staff and limited family.
Emmert said the NCAA also was looking into moving the men’s Final Four from Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium to a smaller arena.
The decision comes just hours after the World Health Organization announced the coronavirus as a pandemic, the head of the agency saying he was “deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity.”
This story is ongoing and will be updated as decisions are made and information is made known.