The Big East Tournament will have spectators — just not many of them.
The league announced that at next week’s conference tournament at the Garden each team will be given an undisclosed number of tickets. They can be distributed to friends and family of their traveling parties, which includes those close to players, coaches, managers and staff members. Tickets will not be on sale to the public.
According to sources, only the lower bowl of the arena will be open and, due to social distancing protocols in place, there will be slightly under 1,000 people in allowed in attendance per day. Each school, sources said, will be given slightly fewer than 100 tickets each at the outset of the tournament. As the tournament progresses and teams get eliminated, the number of tickets for each school will incrementally increase.
The Knicks and Rangers have been hosting roughly 2,000 fans for home games after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that stadiums and arenas with a capacity of 10,000 or more can allow up to 10 percent capacity beginning Feb. 23.
Each person attending the games will be required to follow New York public health regulations and Garden policies, which includes proof of a recent negative PCR test. Creighton, Xavier and Butler have been hosting limited numbers of fans at home games this year, and Seton Hall was set to have roughly 1,700 fans for its game against UConn on Wednesday. For other teams like St. John’s, Georgetown and DePaul, this will be their first time playing in front of familiar faces.
The Big East Tournament opens next Wednesday with a tripleheader starting at 3 p.m. and concludes on Saturday with the championship game at 6:30 p.m.