About 4,500 spectators are expected to be in attendance when the college volleyball national championship match is played in Omaha next month.
The championship match is scheduled for April 24 at the CHI Health Center Omaha, with the semifinals two days earlier under the same capacity limitations.
The plans for the NCAA Tournament, which will be played entirely in Omaha from April 13-24, began to take shape recently as the NCAA set its attendance guidelines for championship events.
Attendance must be capped at no more than 25% of overall venue capacity while maintaining socially distanced pod seating for fans.
Some fans received letters Wednesday informing them that it was no longer possible to honor their previously purchased tickets and they will receive refunds due to the capacity restrictions. But a limited number of seats within the new setup will go on sale March 24 for original ticket holders.
In this unique tournament format, the four Elite Eight matches will be played on the same day and court on Monday, April 19. Tickets also will be available for those matches, although many likely will be taken by those fans who will no longer be able to attend the Final Four matches. Each session for that day will include two matches, with a ticket needed for each.
All matches for the 48-team tournament will be held at the downtown arena and adjoining convention center, which annually hosts national club volleyball tournaments.
General public tickets will not be available for the matches played in the first and second rounds, or the regional semifinals. Due to space constraints in the convention center, only a limited number of tickets will be made available to the participating teams.
Fans have been allowed to attend Creighton men’s basketball games at the Omaha arena for part of the season, with crowds of about 2,000 late in the season.
This will be the fourth time that Omaha has been the site of the Final Four (also 2006, ’08 and ’15). Nebraska has reached the NCAA semifinals each time the event has been held in Omaha and has won two of the program’s five national championships there.
When the national championship match was last played in Omaha in 2015, there was a crowd of 17,561 for Nebraska’s win against Texas.