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BREAKING: MAC Tournament to be played without fans due to coronavirus concern


Central Michigan forward Kyra Bussell shoots a fade-away shot against Bowling Green Feb. 15 at McGuirk Arena.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Mid-American Conference Tournament will be played without fans at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse due to coronavirus concern. 

The conference announced Tuesday the tournament will be played from Wednesday to Saturday as scheduled, but only credentialed institutional personnel, student-athlete family members, credentialed media, television and radio crews and official team party members will be allowed into the arena. 

In the statement from the conference, "the decision was made in consultation and guidance with local governmental officials and medical officials." 

Ohio governor Mike DeWine tweeted on Tuesday his recommendation to not allow general public into indoor athletic events due to the virus. 

There were three reported cases of coronavirus in Cuyahoga County on Monday. 

"The safety of all is our greatest concern," said MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher in the statement. "Since January, I have stated that any decision would follow the advice of state governmental officials and medical professionals. Following the feedback we received today we have taken this action which is in alignment with the recommendation of Governor DeWine." 

Tickets for this year's men's and women's tournaments can be used either as a credit for next year's tournaments or a full refund. 

Central Michigan's women's team starts its tournament journey Wednesday afternoon when it takes on Toledo at noon. Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan will also send both their women's basketball teams to Cleveland as well. The Broncos will take on Ohio 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Chippewas-Rockets contest, with the Eagles taking the court against Ball State later in the evening. 

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.