Big Ten Tournament games to be played without fans beginning Thursday amid coronavirus outbreak

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INDIANAPOLIS – Big Ten Tournament basketball games will be played with no fans beginning Thursday.

The Big Ten Conference released a statement Wednesday that only “student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team and Conference staff, TV network partners, credentialed media and immediate family members of the participating teams” can attend the games.

Also, all future Big Ten Conference winter and spring sport competitions will be limited to the same group as the basketball tournament.

Michigan is slated to play in the tournament Thursday, and Michigan State plays Friday.

Read the full statement below:

"The Big Ten Conference announced this evening that beginning Thursday, March 12, 2020, attendance at all Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament games will be limited to student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team and Conference staff, TV network partners, credentialed media, and immediate family members of the participating teams.

"Additionally, all further Big Ten Conference winter and spring sport competitions, including championship/tournament events, will also be limited to student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team and Conference staff, TV network partners, credentialed media, and immediate family members of the participating teams.

“The main priority of the Big Ten Conference is to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor all relevant information on the COVID-19 virus on a daily basis.”

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