Friends, family (but no public tix) OK’d for MAAC tournament


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Friends and relatives of players will be allowed to attend the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball tournament in limited numbers next month, but no tickets will be sold to the public, the organization said Friday.

In keeping with recently loosened restrictions on indoor sporting events issued by Gov. Phil Murphy, the MAAC said it will allow “a limited number” of friends and family to be present for the men’s and women’s games at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall from March 8-13 in Atlantic City.

The conference did not give a limit on attendees, but new state regulations limit in-person attendance at indoor sporting events in venues with 5,000 or more seats to 10% of capacity.

The hall has a capacity for concerts of more than 14,000, but that amount is somewhat lower for sporting events requiring use of the floor.

“It is great that the recent executive order lifting attendance limits in athletic venues will allow us to accommodate a limited number of ‘Friend and Families’ of the teams, particularly the parents, siblings and children of the student-athletes and the coaching staffs,” said Rich Ensor, the MAAC commissioner. “This is a significant first step in the return to athletic competition in New Jersey, and the MAAC membership is pleased to be the first event in Boardwalk Hall since last March when the pandemic abruptly shut down March Madness.”

The event capacity will include all participants, essential staff and family members of each participating team’s athletes and coaches. All attendees must wear face coverings and physically distance during the events.

The conference said it expected things to be back to normal in 2022 with in-person attendance and attractions including a fan festival.

The MAAC includes Canisius College; Fairfield University; Iona College; Manhattan College; Marist College; Monmouth University; Niagara University; Quinnipiac University; Rider University; Saint Peter’s University, and Siena College.

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