Three major college basketball tournaments in Greensboro in 2020 just became one and a half, at least as far as fans who planned to attend the games are concerned.
The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) announced Wednesday, March 11, during the Boston College and Notre Dame game that this is the last night that fans will be allowed in the Greensboro Coliseum to watch the games.
Beginning Thursday, March 12, the storied ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament will be played in front of “essential tournament personnel, limited school administrators and student-athlete guests, broadcast television and credentialed media members present.”
This is reportedly the first time in the history of the ACC Tournament that fans have been banned.
The official notice from the ACC states: “In light of the rapidly changing landscape regarding COVID-19, the latest developments nationally from health authorities and today’s announcement by the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel, the ACC will alter the remainder of the ACC Tournament.
“After consultation with the league’s presidents and athletic directors, it was determined that beginning Thursday, March 12, all games will be played with only essential tournament personnel, limited school administrators, and student-athlete guests, broadcast television and credentialed media members present.”
Earlier today the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced that both the Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments would be played without fans, but as late as 5 p.m., Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that she expected the ACC Tournament to be played as usual. And Wednesday night, the games are being played as usual; however, Thursday, Friday and the championship on Saturday will be a different story.
After the NCAA announcement at 4:30 on Wednesday, the ACC announced that the games on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. would “proceed as planned” and it would evaluate how to handle the remaining days of the tournament.
The announcement from the ACC that beginning on Thursday the tournament would be closed to fans came at about 8 p.m.
Downtown Greensboro Inc. does plan to hold the Tournament Town Watch Party Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. outside the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. The ACC Tournament games will be broadcast live on The Tanger marquee.