Coronavirus concerns could impact upcoming sporting events

Posted: Updated:

The threat of the coronavirus outbreak could have a major impact on some major sporting events such as the NCAA college basketball tournament and the upcoming Olympic games.

“We’re concerned. We’re monitoring the situation,” says MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor.

Ensor is preparing for the MAAC basketball championships in Atlantic City next week. The tournament features 22 teams in all, including Saint Peter’s, Rider and Monmouth. Thousands of people are expected to attend.

PHOTOS: The impact of the coronavirus around the world:

“I think we’re probably OK for next week. Two weeks from now in Albany with the NCAA. Do I know? I don’t really know,” Ensor says.

Officials are telling the public to avoid close contact with people who are sick to avoid spreading any illnesses. The NBA is telling players not to high-five fans. USA Hockey put out a statement telling people to stay healthy.

RELATED: NJ officials on coronavirus: ‘This is not a time to panic. It’s a time to prepare.’ 
RELATED: Public prepares for the worst as authorities try to quell coronavirus panic 

There are growing questions about the summer Olympics in Tokyo. The International Olympic Committee insisting on Tuesday that the games will start July 24. But a Japanese official says that the games could be pushed back. This would impact thousands of athletes from some 200 nations.

“It’s a very sad thing if that would happen, because the venue’s incredible. They spent billions of dollars, but I’ll leave that up to Japan,” President Donald Trump said.

Will A Mask Really Protect You From Coronavirus? - Cheddar Explains

The National College Players Association just asked the NCAA to consider March Madness games without fans. It is a situation that has happened before due to a measles outbreak in Connecticut about 20 years ago. Siena College beat Boston University by one point.

"They actually won an NCAA bid, their first, in front of about 50 people,” Ensor says.

The tournament in Atlantic City is at Boardwalk Hall. The arena will be set up with hand sanitizer stations. Fans will be reminded to be careful about spreading germs.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."