GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — It’s tournament time in Greensboro.
ACC players and fans are allowed to be together inside the Greensboro Coliseum when teams tip-off starting Wednesday.
On Monday, FOX8 got to look at the playbook for keeping everyone safe.
Before an athlete even steps foot in the arena they will have already undergone a COVID-19 test at their hotel.
They will also get a rapid test once they arrive.
When it comes to the fans, there will be limits and protocols you must follow too.
“The first five rows of seating is not eligible for fans and we have to protect the athletes and all those kinds of configurations,” Greensboro Coliseum Managing Director Matt Brown said.
Sections of the arena inside the Greensboro Coliseum are off-limits.
Crews have created makeshift locker rooms to keep players and teams spaced out.
“Each session has four teams so we are spreading those teams out separating from what would normally be adjoining locker rooms and even creating space for the athletes to stretch and feel separated from themselves let alone from the other team they will be opposing,” Brown said.
That means the typical media area will now be filled with spread-out teams so players are not moving near each other.
“Then with each session, we will completely clean not just the arena but the locker room facilities and all the spaces that the teams use before their games,” Brown said.
Brown told FOX8 they have sprayers and staff wiping down everything so everyone feels safe.
“Whether it’s a fan in the stands or an athlete or a coach they will feel comfortable in a facility that understands what is needed to make sure everyone is comfortable,” Brown said.
Extra time was put on the clock between sessions to make sure the processes are thorough and people stay 6 feet apart.
“Each group, there will two guests in each pod and those pods will be separated by no less than six feet and they will be allocated in areas throughout the arena to meet the COVID requirements for safe distancing,” Brown said.
A limit on fans, but not excitement and enthusiasm.
“Whether it be 50 fans or 2,500, whatever the number ends up being, I think they will feel the excitement of the best college basketball being played on these courts behind us and I think that means something to the ACC to provide to their student-athletes,” Brown said.
Brown did tell FOX8 the ticketed fans, which are expected to be below 3,000, will enter through the plaza.
The women’s tournament starts on Wednesday followed by the men’s tournament on March 9.
The games will not interrupt the vaccination clinics taking place.