Final decision on fans at NCAA men’s basketball tournament still hanging in limbo

FILE - Fans arrive at Lucas Oil Stadium before a men's NCAA Final Four semifinal college basketball game between Butler and Michigan State in Indianapolis, in this April 3, 2010, file photo. The NCAA announced Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, that all 67 men's basketball tournament games including the Final Four will be played entirely in Indiana in a bid to keep the marquee event from being called off for a second consecutive year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Games will be played on two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium as well as at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Mackey Arena at Purdue and Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Only one game at a time will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium.. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (Network Indiana) — Will you be allowed to attend March Madness in Indianapolis? The answer could soon come.

As of right now, only family members of players and coaches will be allowed in attendance. However, a final decision on the general public will be made next month, according to Dan Gavitt, NCAA’s vice president of basketball operations.

“We have hope that, maybe, fans can be in attendance, but really, that’s going to be a mutual decision with the Marion County Health Department, with the NCAA, and it won’t be made until, at least, early February,” Gavitt told Inside Indiana Business. “We’re going to take a ‘wait-and-see’ approach in a very responsible way to make the correct decision.”

Gavitt also said they got the idea of hosting the entire Division I men’s basketball tournament in one area, instead of the tradition of numerous cities across the country hosting games, by seeing the success of the “bubbles” the NBA and NHL had to finish their seasons.

“That’s what led the basketball committee and staff’s decision, first in the middle of November, to decide to have the tournament in one geographic location, to limit travel and the challenges with travel and the pandemic.”

He said other cities and regions were considered, but in the end, they decided on Indianapolis because of the “incredible history and tradition” the city already has of hosting March Madness games.