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Could the coronavirus impact March Madness and fan attendance at sporting events?

With March Madness set to begin, will the NCAA basketball tournaments that we love so much see no fans at games because of the coronavirus?

WASHINGTON — Recently, the National College Players Association released a statement saying that the NCAA should "encourage fans to stay away from tournament games," as concerns grow across the United States due to the spread of the coronavirus. 

With more than 60 confirmed cases of the coronavirus nationwide, and the death of two people in Washington state, the NCAA and multiple college athletic conferences and professional sports leagues have had to address possible crowd issues that could face public sporting events, as fears of the virus continue. 

"In the wake of the emerging coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA and its colleges should take precautions to protect college athletes," said the NCPA is a statement, suggesting further that no audiences at NCAA college basketball tournament games may be the move that's needed. 

If you go on the National Collegiate Athletic Association's website, there is a webpage called "NCAA Coronavirus Resources," which shares information on the coronavirus and what institutions that are a part of the NCAA need to know. This includes a link to more information on the CDC's website.  

"When members (college teams) are engaging with the campus health crisis leadership team about issues that may be specific to their athletics department, such as the proximity of student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers and other medical personnel to one another, here are topics to discuss." said the NCAA on its NCAA Coronavirus Resources page.

According to the NCAA, 689,753 people attend the Division 1 Men's and Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament in 2019. This number includes all games that were played between teams in both tournaments. 68 teams are in each tournament. 

The last time that a major sporting event in the United States didn't feature a crowd was when the White Sox and Orioles played in 2015. 

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