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NAIA restricts fan access amid coronavirus pandemic

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Posted at 9:07 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 22:07:24-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics is restricting fan access to its remaining winter championship events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released Wednesday night, NAIA said that limits are in place for its men’s and women’s Division I basketball championships, as well as the men’s and women’s bowling championships.

“After a thorough examination of the widespread health risks posed by COVID-19, the NAIA has decided to restrict attendance at upcoming championships to only essential staff and limited family members,” NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr said in the statement. “We know this is disappointing to participating student-athletes and fans, but the health and wellness of all those involved with our championship events is our top priority.”

The statement said “fan attendance at championship events already underway will proceed without fan restrictions.”

NAIA will “consult daily” with officials and adjust its policies as needed.

“We encourage all fans to closely consider their risk factors in determining whether or not they should attend an event,” the statement read. “Refunds will be issued to those who have bought tickets in advance, but are no longer able to attend.”