The Atlantic 10 became the latest conference to announce it would play to an empty arena for the rest of its conference tournament.
Starting Thursday, the A-10 Tournament at Barclays Center will be restricted to teams and their families, media and essential personnel, according to a statement from the conference. The first round was played Wednesday in front of fans with George Mason defeating Saint Joseph’s 77-70, and Fordham topping George Washington 72-52.
“Although this was a difficult decision it’s imperative that the Atlantic 10 act in the best interest of our student-athletes, teams and member institutions,” commissioner Bernadette McGlade said Wednesday in the statement. “This a very unique and serious situation given the global impact of COVID-19, and as disappointing as this is for our fans and spectators, this decision had to be made.
“I want to thank everyone who is and has been supporting our basketball programs this season and encourage all to tune in to our games on our television partners.”
The announcement comes after the NCAA said earlier Wednesday it would play the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments without fans, a decision that led other conferences, including the Big East, which plays its conference tournament across the East River at Madison Square Garden, to restrict attendance as well.