Portland will not host basketball fans for March Madness—because the National Collegiate Athletics Association has barred fans from attending tournament games amid a coronavirus pandemic.
NCAA President Mark Emmert announced Wednesday afternoon that the men's and women's basketball tournaments will be held "with only essential staff and limited family attendance."
Portland's Moda Center is scheduled to host the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight rounds of the NCAA women's tournament on March 28 and 30. It appears that the NCAA will hold the three regional games in a mostly empty arena in the city's Rose Quarter.
In recent days, health experts have warned that holding such events during a COVID-19 pandemic risked rapid spread of the disease. The Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Timbers and the Nike Hoops Summit have yet to announce cancellations.