BUFFALO, N.Y. — Fans will not be allowed into HarborCenter this weekend for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) ice hockey championships, as a way to prevent against the spread of coronavirus.
"This decision is being made at the recommendation of the Erie County Department of Health out of an abundance of caution, as we address the coronavirus," Dr. Robert Zayas, the NYSPHSAA executive director, said in a statement.
The NYSPHSAA said the games will be streamed live on the NFHS Network, as was originally scheduled.
"It continues to be the goal of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association to host the Winter Championships with direction from the New York State Department of Health, local county health departments and Governor Cuomo’s office," Zayas said.
"At this time, we are moving forward with the championships. However, the impact of the coronavirus could necessitate revisions to the championship schedule."
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has been impacting sports schedules both in Western New York and nationwide.
The New York State Amateur Hockey Association says its tournament scheduled to take place at the Northtown Center this weekend will still be played, but fans will not be allowed to attend.
NCAA President Mark Emmert said Wednesday that the men's and women's basketball tournaments will be played with "only essential staff and limited family attendance."
And in Cleveland, the University at Buffalo women's basketball team was scheduled to play Wednesday night in the Mid-American Conference tournament quarterfinals, though fans will not be in attendance.