Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recommends no fans at indoor sporting events

MAC Tournament closes games to the general public this week

Daryl Ruiter
March 10, 2020 - 3:19 pm
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks regarding COVID-19, or Coronavirus

Columbus Dispatch-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Ohio governor Mike DeWine has recommended that fans not be admitted to indoor sporting events effective immediately as part of a wide-ranging list of recommendations to combat the potential spread of the coronavirus Tuesday afternoon.

DeWine called for “no events with spectators other than the athletes, parents, and others essential to the game” while adding that “outdoor events can continue.”

The Mid-American Conference men’s and women’s tournaments tip off at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse this week and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will follow next week.

The MAC announced Tuesday evening that they will close the tournament to the general public.

“The safety of all is our greatest concern,” Mid-American Conference commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher said in a statement. “Since January, I have stated that any decision would follow the advice of state governmental officials and medical professionals. Following the feedback we received today we have taken this action which is in alignment with the recommendation of Governor DeWine.” 

All tickets for the MAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments will be refunded in the form of a credit towards next year’s tournament or a full refund. All ticketholders will receive an email with further instructions regarding next steps to receiving credit or refund.  

The Cavs don’t return home until March 24.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced they will comply with DeWine’s recommendation beginning Wednesday. Tournament games will proceed Tuesday with fans.

Major sports leagues have already announced they are restricting locker room access to players, coaches and essential team personnel and putting in place a six- to eight-foot boundary between reporters and coaches during interview sessions as a precaution.

Kent State University and Ohio State University announced the suspension of in person classes following reports of at least three known cases of coronavirus in Cuyahoga county, in line with DeWine’s other recommendations Tuesday.