KANSAS CITY, MO – Kansas City, MO Mayor Quinton Lucas announced a relaxation of COVID-19 regulations in the city on Thursday. Along with the new regulations, the Kansas City Sports Commission announced that the Big 12 tournament will allow 20% of fans in each venue.
The men’s tournament is played in the T-Mobile Center and the women in the Municipal Arena in the convention center.
The tournament will take place March 10-14.
“Both venues have worked with and will continue to work with the Kansas City Health Department to ensure the health and safety of all employees, guests and student athletes come first,” said Kathy Nelson, President / CEO of Greater Kansas City Sports Commission.
Kansas City is reducing health restrictions for COVID-19 for restaurants, bars, and events
The venues will increasingly have signage and logs promoting social distancing and the mandatory wearing of masks.
Although fans can return to the venues, events around the tournament will be different.
“We’re not going to have a fan festival on Grand Boulevard, nor are we going to have pep rallies in the Power & Light District,” said Nelson. “The Kansas City Big 12 Run will be held virtually and participants will receive a unique finisher medal that resembles the basketball court.”
According to Nelson, the T-Mobile Center is an ASM Global facility and has implemented Venue Shield, a comprehensive and bespoke plan for providing sanitary protocols for customers, guests, teams, talent, employees and visitors.
The convention center and urban arena are facilities of the Global Bio Risk Advisory Council and must follow similar protocols for cleaning, disinfecting, and preventing infectious diseases, Nelson said.
“In accordance with NCAA guidelines, the Big 12 conference, in collaboration with its medical team and the Kansas City, MO Department of Health, has created a very detailed athlete health and safety plan,” she added.
Hospitality areas will be closed during the Big 12 tournament, and facilities will follow city and health department guidelines on physical distancing and masking mandates, except when actively sitting or eating while sitting on tickets.
Fans who buy tickets will receive a “know-before-you-go” email before each event, which is also available on the institution’s websites. Ticket information will be made available once the final capacity numbers are determined.
“The Kansas City Sports Commission, T-Mobile Center, and Convention Center are committed to protecting employees, guests, and events while complying with city guidelines to ensure events are held properly and in a very safe manner,” said Nelson . “We’ll continue to work with the health department, the mayor, and everyone in town when we announce college basketball.”