Illini Athletics issues statement following Big Ten’s new attendance restrictions for fans

Big+Ten+football+trophies+stand+on+the+main+stage+of+the+Big+Ten+Media+Football+Days+at+the+McCormick+Center+on+July+18.

Mark Capapas

Big Ten football trophies stand on the main stage of the Big Ten Media Football Days at the McCormick Center on July 18.

By Kelly Johnson, Editor-in-Chief

The Big Ten conference will limit attendance at competitions starting Thursday. Only student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team and Big Ten conference staff, TV network partners, credentialed media and immediate family members of the participating teams will be allowed into events, according to a statement distributed Wednesday evening.

Illinois’ Department of Intercollegiate Athletics also issued a statement Wednesday night.

“For obvious reasons, we regret today’s decisions, which will have immediate and far-reaching implications for all people and partners involved in college athletics and, specifically, Fighting Illini Athletics,” The DIA said in a press release. “However, the health and safety of our student-athletes and their families, our coaches and staff, and our fans and campus communities must always remain at the forefront of our decisions. Current events are unprecedented in our history. The situation remains fluid and is evolving by the day and the hour. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.”

This includes Big Ten men’s basketball tournament winter and spring sports competitions, including all tournaments and championships.

The league cited growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus for the new set of guidelines and restrictions for event attendees.

Editor’s Note: The Daily Illini will continue to update this story as news arises.