KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Mo. Mayor Quinton Lucas announced on Friday a loosening of COVID-19 regulations in the city. Along with the new regulations, the Kansas City Sports Commission announced that the Big 12 Tournament will allow 20% of fans in each venue.
The men’s tournament will be played at T-Mobile Center and the women will play at Municipal Arena in the convention center.
The tournament is slated to be held March 10 through March 14.
“Both venues have been working with and will continue to work with the Kansas City Health Department to make sure health and safety of all staff, guests and student athletes is primary,” Kathy Nelson, President/CEO of the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission said.
The venues will have increased signage and protocols promoting social distancing and mandatory mask wearing.
Although fans will be able to return to the venues, the events surrounding the tournament will look different.
“We will not be hosting fan fest on Grand Boulevard, nor will we host pep rallies in the Power & Light District,” Nelson said. “The Kansas City Big 12 Run will be held virtually and participants will receive a unique finisher’s medal resembling the basketball court.”
Nelson said the T-Mobile Center is an ASM Global facility and has implemented Venue Shield, a comprehensive and customized plan to provide hygienic protocols for clients, guests, teams, talent, associates and visitors.
The convention center and municipal arena are Global Bio Risk Advisory Council facilities and are required to follow similar protocols of cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention, Nelson said.
“In accordance with NCAA guidance, the Big 12 conference has put together a very detailed plan on student athlete health and safety in cooperation with their medical team and the Kansas City, MO Health Department,” she added.
Hospitality spaces will be closed throughout the Big 12 tournament and the facilities will follow the city and health department’s guidelines on physical distancing and mask mandates, except when actively drinking or eating while in ticketed seats.
Fans who buy tickets will receive a “know-before-you-go” email before each event and it will also be available on the facility websites. Ticket information will be made available as the final capacity numbers are put in place.
“The Kansas City Sports Commission, T-Mobile Center and the convention center are committed to protecting staff, guests and events while working within city guidelines in making sure that events properly be hosted in a very safe manner,” Nelson said. “We will continue to work with the health department, the mayor and everyone here at the city every step of the way as we tip off college basketball.”