NCAA to allow up to 17% capacity at the Alamodome for Sweet 16 and Final Four; ABC to carry some tournament games
The NCAA will allow fan attendance of 17% capacity at San Antonio’s Alamodome for this season’s Sweet 16 and Final Four. Fans will be required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. The capacity of the Alamodome for basketball is 31,900. So at 17%, 5,423 fans would be a sellout.
On the men’s side, the NCAA is allowing 25% capacity for a tournament that will take place primarily in the Indianapolis area. The men’s Final Four takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium which has a capacity of 70,000. So at 25%, a maximum of 17,500 fans would be allowed.
“We are looking forward to the return of the championship as well as limited fan attendance to what will be a unique and unforgettable event,” said Lynn Holzman, vice president of women’s basketball at the NCAA. “The NCAA has and will continue to work in conjunction with state and local health authorities to ensure the health and safety of all student-athletes, staff and fans for this year’s championship, but we are excited that fans will again be part of the 2021 championship.”
Further details on fan attendance for the NCAA tournament:
For first- and second-round play taking place March 21-24 at the Alamodome, Bill Greehey Arena on the campus of St. Mary’s (Texas), Frank Erwin Center (Texas), University Events Center (Texas State) and the UTSA Convocation Center, attendance will be limited to team players and guests, with each member of the 34-member official team travel party allowed up to six tickets for guests.
From the Sweet Sixteen through the Women’s Final Four taking place at the Alamodome, the 17% capacity will include all participants, family members of each participating team’s student-athletes and coaches, essential staff and a reduced number of fans. Sweet Sixteen games will be played March 27-28, Elite Eight games held March 29-30 and the Women’s Final Four conducted April 2 and 4.
In other tournament news, ABC is set to broadcast at least six tournament games, adding to the coverage by ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU. Both ABC and ESPN are divisions of the Walt Disney Company. ABC will carry a doubleheader on the opening day of play (Sunday, March 21) and broadcast additional doubleheaders during the Sweet Sixteen. The last time the championship included broadcast network coverage was in 1995 by CBS.