INDIANAPOLIS — NOTE: The above video is from a previous story on the fan capacity that will be allowed at tournament games.
March Madness tickets for the 2021 Division I Men's Basketball Championship begin to go on sale Thursday. The tournament will allow up to 25 percent capacity with physical distancing at the games.
Tickets for each round of the tournament will become available on separate days, with the schedule operating as follows:
- March 4 at 10 a.m. ET | First Four presale
- March 9 at 10 a.m. ET | First Round presale
- March 11 at 10 a.m. ET | Second Round presale
- March 16 at 10 a.m. ET | Regional Rounds presale
Attendance at each game will depend on the size of the venue. That 25 percent capacity is for all rounds and the Final Four, and it includes all participants, essential staff and family members of each participating team’s student-athletes and coaches, and a reduced number of fans.
You can get more information here, including a link to register and be notified if tickets are made available.
The men’s tournament bracket will be announced Sunday, March 14 at 6 p.m. The women’s bracket will be revealed Monday, March 15 at 7 p.m.
The Division I Men's Basketball Championship will tip off with First Four games Thursday, March 18. The entire tournament will be in Indiana, with 55 of the 67 games taking place in Indianapolis.
Mackey Arena in West Lafayette and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington will each host two First Four games and will join Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum and Lucas Oil Stadium as hosts of first-round games Friday and Saturday, March 19 and 20.
The four venues in Indianapolis will serve as sites for the remainder of the championship, including second-round games Sunday and Monday, March 21 and 22, according to the NCAA.
Specific game times have not yet been announced, but viewers can expect games in typical broadcast windows, with first- and second-round games on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV.
The Sweet 16 will be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday and Sunday, March 27 and 28, with each of the eight games getting its own television window.
The Elite Eight games will take place in prime time Monday and Tuesday, March 29 and 30, and the Final Four is scheduled for Saturday and Monday, April 3 and 5. All those games will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Selection Sunday is March 14, and "The Big Dance" begins four days later.
The First Four matchups will work the same as they would in a normal year, with the teams seeded Nos. 65 and 66 playing each other and the teams seeded Nos. 67 and 68 overall facing each other.
The other First Four games will feature the last four at-large teams on the committee's final seed list playing one another. The four winning teams advance to first-round games taking place March 20.
The venues will undergo thorough cleaning and disinfecting during the tournament.
Safety and health measures include testing, face coverings, physical distancing and contact tracing requirements before teams arrive and throughout their stay in the tournament.
Here's a complete list of stadium health and safety procedures that were announced earlier for the Big Ten tournament:
Lucas Oil Stadium has instituted numerous health and safety procedures for all events at the stadium, including requirements for fans and stadium employees on game days. These procedures were designed to meet local and CDC guidelines to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Fans must not come to the stadium if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, have experienced COVID-19 symptoms, or know they have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Whenever possible, fans should use the stadium entrance noted on their tickets. Stadium staff will assist fans by identifying entrances and exits with reduced congestion.
- Each fan and gameday employee will participate in a COVID screening, including a questionnaire and a temperature check, prior to entering the stadium.
- Consistent with CDC, state and local guidelines, each fan and gameday employee will be required to wear a mask or face covering at all times, including during security screenings at stadium entrances and inside the stadium, except when actively eating or drinking.
- Fans are required to practice physical distancing of at least six feet inside and outside of Lucas Oil Stadium. With multiple entries and exits at four separate gates and more than 1 million square feet of club, concourse, and corridor space, fans will have ample space to practice social distancing.
- Fan seating will be grouped in “pods” to maintain distance between groups who are not known to one another. Fans must sit in the sections seats and assigned to them.
- If a fan or employee begins to feel ill after entering, he or she should visit the nearest First Aid Room, where an onsite medical team will be prepared to treat the person: Street Level – Near Sections 145 (Main First Aid Room) or 118; Loge Level – Near Section 323; Terrace Level – Near Section 519 or 544
- Ticketing will be almost completely mobile to create a more safe and secure entry experience for fans.
- Security screenings at stadium entrances will be conducted in a manner that minimizes person-to-person contact.
- The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will be cashless. Major credit and debit cards, as well as mobile pay services, will be accepted at concessions and the Colts Pro Shop. Cash-to-card machines will be available outside sections 116 and 153 for fans who need to exchange cash for pre-paid debit cards.
- All concession and catering staff have been trained on CDC guidelines and are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), follow enhanced handwashing procedures, and maintain cleaning and sanitization protocols for food and beverage contact surfaces. Fans will be separated from concession staff by plexiglass shields, and all food items will be served in single-serve, closed containers with pre-packaged disposable silverware and condiments.
- Stadium capacity will be reduced to meet local and CDC guidelines to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Stadium staff will routinely disinfect all surfaces, including door handles, push plates, restroom fixtures and partitions, tables and furniture, trash cans, and other areas on a 24/7 basis. Every restroom will be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly on a daily basis using electrostatic products that provides coverage of all hard surfaces at a rate of 18,000 square feet per hour and kills 99.9% of bacteria in five seconds.
- Directional signage has been placed throughout the stadium to help maintain physical distancing. Fans and employees should follow all posted signage and continue to abide by physical distancing markers that appear in elevators, near escalators, in concession lines, restrooms, and other locations.
- The stadium is equipped with hospital-grade air filters and provides 24/7 air circulation. The total air supply and outdoor air ventilation are set for each event based on the specific event requirements and outdoor weather conditions.
- Fans and employees will have access to hand sanitizer stations throughout the stadium. Fans and staff are encouraged to sanitize and wash their hands frequently on gamedays.
- Front-line stadium staff and vendors working game days have completed enhanced training on CDC guidelines, PPE, and other COVID-19 practices and protocols and will abide by all stadium health and safety policies.