In what they maintain is an effort to be proactive, the University Interscholastic League’s state basketball tournament is going on almost as planned this weekend in San Antonio, but with what the UIL refers to as “limited attendance,” due to the fear of coronavirus.
The tournament was to begin today, but according to a statement from UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt, it’ll be limited.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes and patrons is our number one priority,” said Breithaupt, through a statement released this morning. “While we are saddened to limit the fans that can be inside the arena supporting their teams, it is crucial we take every possible precaution to keep participants safe."
Today, the tournament will run its normal schedule of games for “pre-purchased ticket holders,” but plans to sell no additional tickets, except for championship game tickets on a limited basis for the winning teams on-site right after their semifinal games. The UIL is also limiting championship game tickets will be limited to 500 per school.
On Friday and Saturday, it’ll be similar. Reunions are no longer scheduled, according to the statement, which noted that the UIL is “working closely with the Alamodome to ensure appropriate preventative measures are being taken,” such as the placement of anti-bacterial sanitizing stations and sanitation initiatives before and during the tournament in locker rooms and high traffic areas, as well as wiping down seats between sessions.
The UIL seems to be following the lead of multiple sports organizations across the state and nation: yesterday, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was called off; the NCAA announced that its popular March Madness basketball tournament to crown a national collegiate basketball champion would be played in front of no fans (and some outlets are reporting the NCAA may reconsider and postpone the tournament), and the NBA suspended its season until further notice.