Coronavirus decision to impact Ohio’s NCAA Tournament games

Big Tournament

A large bottle of hand sanitizer sits next to a door as fans prepare to enter the arena for an NBA basketball game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks in San Antonio, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

UPDATE: The NCAA basketball tournament and all spring championships are canceled.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he will be issuing an order regarding “mass gatherings” due to the coronavirus that will affect NCAA Tournament games in Cleveland and Dayton.

DeWine says the order will include banning spectators from games and that he’ll be asking people to make “informed decisions.”

During a news conference Wednesday, DeWine said he will issue an order in the next 24 to 36 hours. Dayton will host the NCAA’s First Four next week at Dayton Arena, and first- and second-round games will be held in Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

“The order will be that there cannot be spectators there,” DeWine said. “There certainly will be people — there will be TV people, there can be radio people there, there can be sports writers, certainly can be the media there. But we’re not going to have the large crowd.”

DeWine applauded the Mid-American Conference for closing its tournament games to the general public this week.

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