The No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey team will start their national title defense against the Clarkson Golden Knights at LaBahn Arena in Madison “in front of a reduced audience due to concerns over the coronavirus,” according to a press release from the University of Wisconsin.
Here is the statement in full:
March 11, 2020
MADISON, Wis. — The NCAA tournament quarterfinal women’s hockey game between Wisconsin and Clarkson, scheduled for Saturday, March 14 at LaBahn Arena, will be played in front of a reduced audience due to concerns over the coronavirus.
“The safety and well-being of our student-athletes, staff members and attendees of our athletic events remains our highest priority,” UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. “After consulting with campus and local health officials, the decision was made to play Saturday’s game, but with a substantially reduced crowd size.”
The defending national champion Badgers and the Golden Knights will face off on Saturday at 2 p.m. The student-athletes and coaches from each team will be provided four tickets for their personal use. The only other people in the arena will be those essential to the operation of the game.
Decisions for this game were made with the guidance of public health and medical professionals to limit large gatherings on campuses as a precautionary measure relating to the coronavirus and are subject to change based on the fluidity of this situation.
Fans who had purchased tickets for the game on Saturday will be refunded in full and will be contacted by the UW Athletic Office.
This decision came after the NCAA announced that all of the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament games will be played in front of limited fans as well. The University of Wisconsin will also be mostly shut down for students as classes have moved to entirely online from March 13 through at least April 10.
As far as spring football practice is concerned, when reached for comment, Brian Mason said “Still too early to speculate on that. We’re not scheduled to start until March 22.”
We will have more updates on how this is affecting the Wisconsin Badgers as well as the University community at large as they become available.