INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – On Wednesday, the Big Ten men’s conference tournament tips off at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Northwestern Wildcats will play the Minnesota Gophers at 6:30 pm. After that, Penn State faces Nebraska.
The Indiana Hoosiers will be in action on Thursday night against Rutgers. Purdue received a double-bye and will play on Friday.
The Big Ten is allowing limited capacity of 8,000 attendees. For a lot of these Big Ten teams, this is the first time this season they will be playing with fans in the stands.
“Indianapolis will be one of the few places in the country where people can watch college basketball live through the month of March. Which is pretty exceptional,” said Indiana Sports Corp President Ryan Vaughn.
While there is excitement, a big focus is also on safety amid the pandemic.
Fans heading to Lucas Oil Stadium for the men’s tournament will need wear to masks and are asked to do their own COVID-19 self assessment before going to the games.
Tickets are also being sold in a pod grouping, so fans stay with those they came to the game with.
Doors will open an hour before each session and fans will be asked to complete a COVID-19 screening and temperature check before entering the building. More safety precautions can be found here.
When it comes to players, the Big Ten tournament will not work like the NCAA tournament. There is not a bubble, controlled environment that the players will stay in. However, the teams have testing and safety protocols they’re following.
The Indiana Sports Corp said they are working with the Marion County Health Department and the city has had a lot of success at professional sports venues when it comes to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
“The timing couldn’t be better for the community. The health conditions all around are improving, vaccination rates are going up, restaurants and bars have a greater capacity. And it’s March, and it’s basketball and that is what Indy is all about, right. So, it is really a special moment and people are really excited,” said Vaughn.
As of Wednesday morning, there were some single session tickets still available to the men’s Big Ten tournament games on Ticketmaster.