SPOKANE, Wash. — Whitworth University will play its Sweet 16 game without fans due to concerns over COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus.
Spectators are prohibited from attending this Saturday's Division III NCAA Tournament game between Swarthmore College and Whitworth University in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, according to a statement.
Only team personnel, credentialed administration and media, and game day staff will be allowed to attend the game at Tarble Pavilion. Fans who have already purchased tickets for the game will be refunded.
Those who want to watch the game on TV can do so via the Garnet Sports Network beginning at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday.
"This was an extremely difficult decision. While there are no suspected cases of COVID-19 at Swarthmore College, the epidemic continues to expand, and the College has a responsibility to act in the best interest of the health and well-being of Swarthmore students, faculty, and staff, as well as the broader community," the statement reads.
NCAA President Mark Emmert announced on Wednesday that both the men's and women's NCAA Tournaments will be played without fans amid coronavirus concerns.
The Gonzaga men's basketball team is likely to receive a one or two seed for the tournament and play at Spokane's Veteran's Memorial Arena for the first two rounds after winning the West Coast Conference Tournament. Now, those games would be played without any Gonzaga faithful in the arena, outside of possibly the player's families.
There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Spokane County but two people are under investigation. Their test results have not yet been released.