INDIANAPOLIS — Will fans be able to attend any of this year's March Madness games played in Indianapolis?
Andy Mallon, the executive director of the city's Capital Improvement Board, said he's increasingly hopeful.
The CIB oversees Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the Indiana Convention Center, which will be used for practice courts.
During the CIB's monthly meeting Friday, Mallon told board members, given the weekly conversations he's had with Marion County health officials, "I'm feeling pretty confident we'll be able to have beyond family members at some point, so that would be a huge boost to downtown."
Currently, plans are to limit attendees to six family members per team member or 450 a game.
Mallon said the top priority was having fans for Final Four weekend, "we're also trying for middle rounds."
Lucas Oil Stadium will host the Final Four. This past season, the Indianapolis Colts were capped at 12,500 fans. Whether that changes depends where things stand with the virus.
Other information from Friday's meeting:
-The NCAA has done walkthroughs of the five "Tier 1" downtown hotels set aside for players, coaches, trainers and referees, checking out logistics. Where will the different teams enter, get their meals, wait for shuttle buses, etc?
-Visit Indy is also working to secure "Tier 2" hotels for family members, production crews and up to 2,000 credentialed media. Indy's Leonard Hoops expects downtown hotels will likely sell out at the start and end of the tournament.
-The NCAA and Indiana Sports Corp have lined up rapid COVID-19 testing for all players and people involved in the tournament. Mallon said moving forward, those tests will be an option for other events booked at the Convention Center.
-The CIB is looking to ramp up staffing and bring back many of the full-time employees laid off or furloughed because of COVID-19. That includes cleaning crews, security and those in food service.