ACC will play basketball tournaments without fans

The conference announced Thursday that no tickets will be available to the public for its men's and women's events in Greensboro

Only family and invited guests of the participants will be allowed to attend this year's ACC men's and women's basketball tournaments in Greensboro (Robert Clark / North State Journal)

The ACC basketball tournament was once among the toughest tickets in sports.

This year, there won’t be any tickets at all.

Thursday, the conference announced that no public tickets will be available for either its men’s or women’s tournaments, to be held next month at Greensboro Coliseum. The decision was made based on current COVID-19 regulations set by the state of North Carolina.

Admission to tournament games will be limited to family and guests of team personnel.

The women’s tournament is scheduled for March 3-7. The men’s event, which was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic last year, is set for March 9-13.

All games in tournaments will be televised on either the ACC’s regional networks, the ACC Network or ESPN.

According to a statement announcing the decision, the ACC could reconsider its no-fans policy should local and state guidelines change prior to the events.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday during a remote press conference that there will be a new executive order next week regarding fan attendance at sporting events. Senate Bill 116, introduced earlier Thursday by Sens. Todd Johnson (R-Union), Vickie Sawyer (R-Iredell), and Danny Britt (R-Robeson), would lift the 100-person cap at outdoor high school sports venues — just in time for the upcoming spring football season. Cooper’s executive order could address that before the bill moves through the state legislature, along with the possibility of allowing some fans back into indoor venues.