Saturday, February 4, 2023

William & Mary will begin basketball without fans

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Tribe Athletics)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Tribe Athletics)

William & Mary Athletics announced the 2020-21 basketball season will begin without fans at Kaplan Arena. In making this decision, the university is following the Commonwealth’s guidance and joins a number of other institutions throughout the country that will open the season with similar policies.

“The atmosphere in Kaplan Arena has been electric in recent years thanks to the William & Mary community’s passionate support,” Interim Director of Athletics Jeremy Martin said. “Given the Commonwealth’s guidance and that of our university’s public health advisors, we will start our competitive seasons, and notably men’s and women’s basketball, without fans present.”

As part of the state’s measures addressing COVID-19, sports venues in Virginia are limited to 250 persons, including participants and spectators. To begin the season, a limited pass list will allow a small number of student-athletes’ and coaches’ family and friends to attend games while observing appropriate public health protocols.

“As has been a primary component of our success running the university during the pandemic, we will move forward with phased decision-making as we resume athletics competitions, including the possibility of fan presence should conditions allow,” Martin continued.

“William & Mary has done a remarkable job operating amid the pandemic this fall with students in residence – in large part due to the Healthy Together commitment of our students, faculty and staff in addition to effective preparations by the university’s leadership,” Martin added. “The wellbeing of our student-athletes, campus community and greater Williamsburg area remain front of mind as William & Mary Athletics seeks to train and compete as safely as possible.”

William & Mary Athletics will continue to follow the guidance of the university’s Public Health Advisory Team and work with university, local and state officials to help protect the community’s health.

“I personally cannot wait until we can safely fill the Arena again to cheer on the Tribe,” Martin concluded. “We’re all looking forward to that moment.”

W&M Athletics also announced a virtual fan experience for men’s and women’s basketball on Wednesday.

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John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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