EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — The stands may not be full, but for fans at Ford Center watching the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, they’re excited to watch their favorite team play.
The first COVID-19 case in the Tri-State was in March 2020, and the OVC Tournament was the last major event held for the Conference.
“Everything got shut down, so it seems like it was just a couple weeks ago but it also seems like it was two or three years ago,” Kyle Schwartz, OVC Assistant Strategic Communications Commissioner, said. “I’m glad we got to the point to host the championship this year, especially for our student athletes who have gone through a lot of hoops this year.”
Everyone needed to get through some hoops on their way in the doors to catch a game. Officials say they’re taking everyone’s temperature as they pass through security.
“We have assigned seats to identify where we sat and they had it where we could sit in groups of two, three, four or five and they are keeping us socially distanced,” fan Leighann Wahl said.
Wahl’s niece, Abby, is one of the players. She says she’s excited to get out and even more excited to see her niece doing what she loves again.
“It’s great. We don’t get to see her that often so when we get a chance to see her we’re going to take a bite on it. With COVID it’s kind of slowed things down for everybody. But we’re really happy to be here,” Wahl said.
Players are also being tested regularly and monitored for the virus.
“Athletes and coaches have learned how it’s different this year, but it’s important to stay safe so they’ve adjusted,” Schwartz said.
Officials say everyone’s following protocols and no major problems have popped up.
(This story was originally published on March 3, 2021)