NMAA championships continuing without fans, several events canceled due to coronavirus

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Events all across the country have been canceled due to coronavirus. Now, several in New Mexico are following that lead. Events in New Mexico are being canceled left and right now that coronavirus has reached our state.

The NMAA announced on Wednesday night the remainder of the state basketball tournament will go on as scheduled but without fans and the media. You will be able to watch the games online at nfhsnetwork.com for a subscription fee of $10.99.

For the remainder of the tournament, each team will be limited to only 20 people including coaches and administrators. There will be a limit of 100 people in the building at a time at both The Pit and Santa Ana Star Center.

Fans who have already purchased tickets through UNM for games held Thursday through Saturday are asked to contact the Lobo ticket office on Monday, March 16 for a full refund. Those who purchased All-Tournament Passes from the NMAA office are asked to contact the New Mexico Activities Association on Monday, March 16 to discuss refund options.

The governor on Wednesday announced that the Gathering of Nations is postponed. Plus, all other events at Expo New Mexico this month are postponed or canceled.

“We are proactively and aggressively canceling large public events that we have control over, and we are advising strongly that local government and private sector follow suit,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said.

The Bataan Memorial Death March is also canceled.

The NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and all University of New Mexico Athletics home events will only be open to essential personnel and limited family, meaning no fans allowed. The governor encouraged people not to attend any community event like neighborhood meetings and the NMAA basketball championship.

“It has been kind of slower than most years,” Donny Sanchez, who is working the tournament, said.

People still came out for the tournament Wednesday afternoon before it was closed to fans, but the coronavirus concern was evident.

“They put hand sanitizer at the front [of the building], and everybody walks in rubbing their hands,” Sanchez said. “It is on the back of everybody’s minds.”

Some said they are noticing changes at school.

“Today with the big news, classes were less populated than normal,” UNM student Eric Warren said. “I have heard a lot of people cancel their travel plans for spring break.”

“My friend was supposed to go to Italy with his school, but they canceled that,” Santa Fe High student Bobby Trujillo said.

Others are keeping up their routines like attending Wednesday night church services despite the governor’s warning against it.

“There is no place I would rather be than here on a Wednesday night, so I don’t really listen to all that,” churchgoer David Gibson said.

Some said they plan to continue with business as usual.

“It’s scary and all, but to me, it is just about not changing your lifestyle just yet,” Sanchez said.

New Mexico United said they are going to continue to monitor any updates on the virus before determining how to move forward with their home opener next weekend.

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