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Buffalo, NY | Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WGRZ.com

Hockey Tourney at Amherst Northtown Center still a go… Sans Fans

Amid concerns over Coronavirus spread, Town of Amherst directs that NYSAHA tournament can be played this weekend at Northtown Center, but bans fans from attending

AMHERST, N.Y. — The New York State Amateur Hockey Association (NYSAHA) says its tournament scheduled to take place at the Northtown Center this weekend will still be played.

However, NYSHA says it has been directed by the Town of Amherst, which owns the facility that fans will not be allowed to attend due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, more commonly known as Coronavirus.

This includes the parents of the youth players participating.

NYSAHA says it is arranging to provide free live streams of the games.

“We could have canceled the tournament. Instead, we’re going to let kids play hockey,” Town Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa told WGRZ-TV.

Kulpa confirmed that at least five of the teams coming in for the tournament are from Westchester County which is at the epicenter of most of the confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, accounting for 121 of the state’s 212 confirmed cases.

“While we could be assured that none of the players are exhibiting symptoms, we can’t account for every fan that might be coming to the event from areas where there are confirmed cases… I’m not about to put thousands of people together in an arena.”

The town of Amherst isn’t alone in having to make decisions regarding the gatherings of crowds, as a growing number of events have either been canceled or instituted fan bans amid concerns over the spread of the virus.

The Mid America Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, currently underway in Cleveland, has also instituted restrictions on attendance.

The University at Buffalo women’s team will be among the squads playing before a mostly empty Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse when they take to the court tonight at 7:30.

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