LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Big West Conference announced Tuesday that it will hold its upcoming men’s and women’s basketball tournaments spectator-free to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The tournament begins Tuesday night, with women’s early round games being played at the Walter Pyramid at Long Beach State University. Men’s quarterfinal games, as well as men’s and women’s semifinal and championships, are set to be held later this week at the Honda Center.

Fans will not be allowed to enter either venue for any games.

“The Big West Board of Directors, comprised of the chief executive officers of the nine member universities, strongly feel that this is a prudent way to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus while being sensitive to our student-athletes who have pointed towards playing in the tournament all season,” said Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell. “Many of our institutions are developing plans to minimize the interaction of individuals on their campuses that could include the downsizing of events.”

Anyone who purchased tickets for Big West Conference events will receive a full refund.

“I’m sorry for the inconvenience this will cause our fans, but I do want to stress that all games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks,” said Farrell.

Members of the NCAA Division I Big West Conference are Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, CSUN, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, and Hawai’i.

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