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Mitch Daniels prepares for March Madness at Mackey Arena

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels is looking forward to Mackey Arena hosting games for March Madness. Daniels said the University is working closely with the NCAA and local officials to ensure safety.

Posted: Mar 5, 2021 9:46 AM
Updated: Mar 5, 2021 6:27 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) —  Purdue University is preparing to take part in the March Madness tournament.

As News 18 Previously reported, Mackey Arena was chosen as a location to host games for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

"I'm just pleased and proud that Purdue was asked to be one of the satellite sites,” said Purdue University President, Mitch Daniels.

"I'm told the NCAA is going to bring in its own floor. So, I don't know if our motion 'P' will be as visible as I would like,” said Daniels. “It will still give us the chance for a national audience to be reminded of Purdue University and our great basketball tradition and those are great things."

Unlike usual Purdue University basketball games prior to COVID-19, Mackey Arena will not be filled with fans.

As News 18 previously reported, the NCAA will be allowing 25% capacity at each game.

"I wish we could share it with more of the Purdue student body and greater community than we're allowed to,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. “I hope everybody gets to look at it, and it's as positive as an event as I expect it to be."

Daniels said the University does have a plan to keep the campus safe during the tournament.

"The game plan really will be set by the NCAA, and it’s very strict,” said Daniels. “Whether it's in Indianapolis or at these satellite sights, and we will follow of course every protocol."

“We will follow every guideline that they suggest very faithfully,” said Daniels.

Daniels said the university will continue to follow every safety protocol.

"I think we can do it very well from a safety standpoint,” said Daniels. “Nobody has a richer basketball history than we do, and that will be visible to a national television audience. So, I think it's a great opportunity."

Not only is the university working closely with the NCAA, Daniels said he's thankful for the university's partnership with local officials.

“I cannot compliment enough Dr. Adler and his people for the way they've protected the population of Tippecanoe County, and the way they've worked with us,” Daniels said. “We’re very grateful for Dr. Adler and all of the other public officials here who have helped us.”

The university recently increased attendance for indoor and outdoor activities. Up to 100 people are allowed.

“We set the limits on gatherings in lockstep with the local health authorities,” said Daniels. “They have helped guide us in trying to make sensible decisions for the campus itself, and that’s exactly how we arrived at things like the 100 person current limit.”

While continuing to work closely with the Tippecanoe County Health Department and the NCAA, Daniels said the University will show hospitality to the teams who will play in Mackey Arena. 

"I'm excited for various reasons, especially how our team is playing," said Daniels. "They won't be allowed to play here, but whoever does, we'll show them a lot of hospitality."

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