NCAA Announces Games Without Fans – Hockey and Basketball Impacted; NCHC Follows Suit

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and will continue to be updated with more information as it becomes available.

The same day the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the Coronavirus (COVID-19) a ‘pandemic’, the NCAA sprung into action Wednesday afternoon.  The NCAA basketball and hockey tournaments will be played without fans. And, this announcement further impacts other NCAA sports which Denver plays in the spring. Denver is scheduled to host Omaha in NCHC first-round hockey action this upcoming weekend, Denver hockey is hosting the Loveland NCAA Hockey Regionals March 27th and 28th and Denver Gymnastics is hosting NCAA Regionals April 2-4th at Magness Arena.

It is still unclear if outdoor DU sports like men’s and women’s lacrosse, tennis and/or golf are affected by this breaking announcement.

We are waiting to hear about the specific impacts on these events.

3/11/2020, 7:58 PM Update:

The University of Denver has announced that all Winter Quarter final exams – which start next Tuesday – will occur online, all Spring Break interterm classes have been canceled, and all classes will be held in an online format at least through April 10th. This is the latest update in relation to the spread of COVID-19 as it affects DU. While there are no confirmed cases related to DU, this is a necessary precaution to slow the spread and ensure we keep as many people as possible healthy.

See the tweet and associated link below for the Chancellor’s message:

3/11/2020, 7:52 PM Update:

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) has announced that all four NCHC Quarterfinal matchups this weekend will go on without fans as well. That includes Denver’s matchups against Omaha at Magness Arena Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, if necessary. The statement reads as follows:

Following the lead of the NCAA, best practices of others, and at the recommendation of local and state health officials regarding COVID-19, the NCHC and its member institutions have decided that the four NCHC Quarterfinal Series this weekend (March 13-15) will be closed to the public. Attendance will be restricted to only student-athletes, coaches, event and team staff, credentialed media and student-athlete family members.

Fans looking for a refund of their NCHC Quarterfinal round tickets should contact their athletic department’s ticket office. Because the NCHC Quarterfinal round games are closed to the public, the conference has made the decision to make all streams this weekend free to the public on

The decision to have limited attendance was made for the safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, media and fans. The conference, in consultation with member school leadership and health agencies, is constantly monitoring all relevant information regarding COVID-19 to make any further decisions about the future of the NCHC Tournament.

3/11/2020, 4:42 PM Update:

The NCAA just announced its refund process for those with tickets to the regional events. The tweet below contains information related to that:


Statement from the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel on NCAA events

The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recognizes the fluidity of COVID-19 and its impact on hosting events in a public space. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the United States, and behavioral risk mitigation strategies are the best option for slowing the spread of this disease. This is especially important because mildly symptomatic individuals can transmit COVID-19. Given these considerations, coupled with a more unfavorable outcome of COVID-19 in older adults – especially those with underlying chronic medical conditions – we recommend against sporting events open to the public. We do believe sport events can take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance, and this protects the players, employees, and fans.

College Hockey News published the following this morning:

This decision will impact the entire NCAA hockey tournament — including Regionals and Frozen Four. 

The Regionals are scheduled for March 27-29 in Allentown, Pa., Loveland, Colo., Worcester, Mass., and Albany, N.Y. The Frozen Four is April 9-11 in Detroit.

NCAA president Mark Emmert followed with a statement of his own.

“I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance. 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. This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes. We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families. Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.”

We will continue to update this article as we receive more information.

9 thoughts on “NCAA Announces Games Without Fans – Hockey and Basketball Impacted; NCHC Follows Suit”

  1. You know folks are just going to go to the bar and watch the games there so … what was the poinnt?

  2. From the NCAA Web Site:

    This NCAA Championship Event has been closed to the public.

    If you ordered your tickets from an official NCAA Championship vendor online or over the phone, you will be refunded. No additional action is needed.

    If you have ordered your tickets from an official NCAA Championship vendor you will receive additional information via email.
    Your refund will be automatically delivered (except applicable fees) to the same card used for purchase.
    Refunds should be received within 30 business days after the date of cancellation.
    Customers with questions about the refund process may contact the respective event venue(s) or send inquires to the NCAA via email to

    Please understand that we will be receiving a large volume of calls and emails regarding this decision, and we ask that you allow us five business days to respond to your specific questions.

  3. I’m incredibly disappointed. I was very much looking forward to attending the west regional in Loveland. A fantastic arena, a packed house with lots of Denver fans, and what is shaping up to be the “region of death” being the premier regional.

  4. The NBA has cancelled the season, major European soccer leagues have been suspended, the stock market has dropped 20% in the last week and we’re about to have our daily lives disrupted as the pandemic grows.

    Strap in, folks…

  5. It’s like the end of “Animal House”.

    Stay safe. Wash your hands. Don’t feed the panic.

    In the end it’s just a damn hockey game.

    Go Pioneers!

  6. But so far, the post season in the DUAHL will continue as scheduled-for now. I guess they figure our beer league games get played in front of few fans anyway so there’s little risk in those getting infected.

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