The NCAA announced Friday that it will allow 25% capacity for the 2021 Division I men's basketball tournament while adhering to strict social distancing guidelines.
"The event capacity will include all participants, essential staff and family members of each participating team’s student-athletes and coaches and a reduced number of fans," the NCAA's statement read.
Spectators must wear masks and practice social distancing, and safety measures, including disinfecting venues, will be enforced in accordance with state and local health officials.
The state of Indiana is staging the entire 2021 tournament, with Indianapolis hosting most of the 67 scheduled games.
"We continue to use the knowledge we have gained over the season on how to conduct games in a safe environment," NCAA president Mark Emmert said.
Players and team staff are expected to fulfill testing and contact tracing requirements before leaving for the event and upon arrival.
"The No. 1 priority for decisions around the tournament continues to be the safety and well-being of everyone participating in the event," NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline said. "Additionally, (Indiana State Health Department) is providing critical testing and monitoring services enabling us to safely conduct the tournament."
Selection Sunday is scheduled for March 14, with plans to start the tournament with the First Four on March 18. The Final Four contests are slated to take place April 3 and the championship game is set for April 5.
The event will be jointly hosted by the Horizon League, Ball State, Butler, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and Purdue. The Indianapolis Convention Center will serve as a practice facility.