Big 12 Championship to be closed to public starting Thursday

In the wake of ongoing concerns nation-and worldwide about the COVID-19 virus, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced on Wednesday before the start of the Big 12 Championship that the public will be closed off from the event starting on Thursday.

Teams will be given 125 tickets each to distribute to on behalf of student-athletes and staff members. Team spirit squads including cheerleaders, dance teams and pep bands will not be allowed to attend.

Bowlsby said that until Wednesday there was no indication to the league that a filled stadium would be a bad idea.

“Today that began to change,” Bowlsby said. “Certainly the NCAA’s information is a part of it.”

Earlier on Wednesday it was announced that the NCAA tournament, which begins next week, will not permit fans to attend.

In a statement, NCAA president Mark Emmert said “”While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States.”

Bowlsby added that there will be a refund process for fans who can’t attend the Big 12 tournament, but that there haven’t been talks yet about how it will be handled in conjunction with the Sprint Center.

Credentialed media will still be allowed at the Sprint Center this weekend.