Women's NCAA basketball tournament to allow limited fans for later rounds in San Antonio

A limited number of fans will be allowed from the Sweet 16 through the Women's Final Four at the women's NCAA basketball tournament, it was announced Friday.

All of those games will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

There will be 17% venue capacity for those games. That percentage will include all participants, family members of each team's student-athletes and coaches, essential staff and fans. The NCAA hasn't yet said exactly what that final capacity number will be.

Unlike for the men's tournament, there will be no fans allowed for the women's first and second rounds, which will be played at three sites in San Antonio plus one in San Marcos, Texas, and one in Austin, Texas.

Early-round games, scheduled for March 21-24, will be limited to teams and guests, with each member of the 34-member official team travel party allowed up to six tickets for guests.

Along with limiting capacity, masks and physical distancing also will be required. The decision on attendance was made by the NCAA in conjunction with local health authorities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information on public ticket sales will be available after March 1.

Sweet 16 games will be played March 27-28, Elite Eight games March 29-30 and the Women's Final Four April 2 and 4. The NCAA tournament field will be revealed on Selection Monday, March 15 (ESPN/ESPN App, 7 p.m. ET).

"We are looking forward to the return of the championship as well as limited fan attendance to what will be a unique and unforgettable event," said Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice president of women's basketball. "The NCAA has and will continue to work in conjunction with state and local health authorities to ensure the health and safety of all student-athletes, staff and fans for this year's championship, but we are excited that fans will again be part of the 2021 championship."

All women's tournament games will be aired on the ESPN family of networks. In addition to ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU coverage, ABC is scheduled to carry at least six tournament games. That includes a doubleheader on opening day, March 21, and additional doubleheaders March 27-28 during the Sweet 16.

The national semifinals will be held at 6 and 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and the national championship at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.