national8 positive COVID cases out of 9,100 tests as March Madness starts in Indy
8 positive COVID cases out of 9,100 tests as March Madness starts in Indy

8 positive COVID cases out of 9,100 tests as March Madness starts in Indy

As of Thursday morning, eight positive COVID-19 cases have been identified out of more than 9,100 tests so far for Tier 1, 2 and 3 individuals at the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in Indiana. This includes only one additional positive since testing numbers were shared Wednesday.

NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt provided these numbers — equal to a positivity rate of less than 0.1% — and other updates heading into the first Division I men’s tournament games in more than 700 days.

Below are a few other takeaways from Thursday’s media briefing. View the full recording here.

Venue capacity percentages

With the first full days of games Friday and Saturday, Gavitt provided capacity percentages established for the six venues (see below) being used for the tournament.

While the NCAA established a 25% capacity maximum for all winter championships, none of the men’s tournament venues will reach that capacity due to fans being seated in pods to allow for physical distancing. Fans will be seated in pods of two, four or six. Fans are required to wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking.

“Our venues and host institutions and conferences have things very well in place. Many of these venues have hosted some level of fans recently,” Gavitt said. “We’re confident they have had some experience in welcoming guests and have those plans in place to keep everybody healthy and safe.”

The capacity for Bankers Life Fieldhouse will depend on the time needed to clean and sanitize the venue between games, which varies based on scheduled tip times, Gavitt said.

Venue
Normal Capacity
Reduced Capacity
Reduced Capacity %
Lucas Oil Stadium Unity Court (South)
39,000
8,500
22%
Lucas Oil Stadium Equality Court (North)
31,000
6,900
22%
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (1)
20,000
2,500
13%
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (2)
20,000
3,800
19%
Hinkle Fieldhouse
9,100
1,250
14%
Indiana Farmers Coliseum
6,500
1,200
18%
Mackey Arena
14,240
1,350
9%
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
17,222
500
3%

Food, laundry and other operational updates

Gavitt provided numbers from Sunday through Wednesday on laundry and deliveries of food and miscellaneous items. These numbers included the following:

  • Through the first four days, the teams have combined to order 161 late-night meals, averaging 40 per night.
  • The NCAA and its partners have provided 5,500 student-athlete meals. This included more than 1,500 burgers and chicken sandwiches from Wendy’s; 19,500 wings in one night from Buffalo Wild Wings; and more than 650 pizzas, 200 family pastas and 4,350 breadsticks from Pizza Hut.
  • More than 2,500 loads of laundry were washed in the first two days. Lowe’s provided the washers and dryers for the tournament.
  • The NCAA host program through the Indiana Sports Corp has fulfilled 174 requests for miscellaneous deliveries. These requests include toiletries, detergent, stamps, batteries, socks, HDMI cords, chargers, computer supplies, paper, groceries, an electric water kettle, dress pants, a fanny pack, games (checkers, dominoes, soccer ball, football, kid-sized basketball goals), a whiffle ball set, 10 balloon bouquets and a ukelele.

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