KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI (KCBD) - The Big 12 has cancelled the remainder of the Big 12 Conference Tournament. This announcement was made before Texas Tech played Texas.
Before the Big 12 cancelled, several other basketball conferences called off their tournaments because of the coronavirus pandemic. So far there has been no official word of the NCAA cancelling its tournament throughout March.
The Big 12 has also suspended all conference championships until April 15. After that date, the conference will look into how any activities will be conducted.
“We did so for a variety of reason and we did so in consultation with a wide array of folks whose opinions we respect and we wanted to coordinate with,” Bob Bowlsby, the Big 12 Conference commissioner, said.
The Big 12 Tournament also takes place in Kansas City, where the city’s mayor declared a state of emergency because of the coronavirus, according to The Kansas City Star. It was that declaration that fed into the decision for the Big 12 to cancel.
None of the players or staff members within the Big 12 have tested positive for coronavirus.
“We didn’t hear from anybody that they didn’t want to play or the coaches didn’t want to coach,” Bowlsby said. “But we felt in the interest of heading the advice we were hearing and in being conservative with everybody’s best health that cancellation was the right outcome for both our men’s and women’s tournaments.”
The tournament cancellation also comes a day after the Big 12 limited the number of people allowed to go to the game.
Refunds will also be given to anyone who bought a ticket to any tournament games. The Big 12 is also going into talks with television partners to adjust rights fees because the tournament was cancelled.
“On a typical Wednesday night we draw crowds at this tournament that are unlike any preliminary round games anywhere,” Bowlsby said. “I mean, we would have 14,000 tickets sold and 12,000 people in the stands, most years.”