Thousands flock to Indy for basketball tournament, organizer enforcing health safety restrictions


INDIANAPOLIS- More than 9,000 visitors will be in Indianapolis for a big basketball tournament over the weekend.

It’s the first major event at The Indiana Convention Center since it shut down in March for COVID-19 concerns.

Some people have questioned why this event is happening when the pandemic is ongoing.

“We started this a little over a month ago working directly with the health department and the convention center. We just pulled everything together and researched what’s the best thing we can do,” Tournament of Champions’ Director of Event Operations Amanda Ewing said.

Marion County is currently in stage 4.5, and under Governor Eric Holcomb’s order there should not be any gatherings with more than 250 people.

Since this tournament is bringing in nearly 9,000 visitors from different states to meet the requirement the event’s director Ewing said players have specific times for teams to show up and once their game is over, they must leave. They have also spread out the courts.

“There are 2 courts per exhibit hall in this building and there’s 11 exhibit halls, so that’s 22 courts. We pulled all the air walls inside the halls, so we created individual rooms,” Ewing explained.

Ewing said The Marion County Public Health Department agreed folks on the court don’t have to wear a mask, but everyone else must wear a face covering.

Also, to add another layer of defense Ewing said each person coming into the building must be screened for COVID-19 systems.

“It’s probably not something before they physically got to the city, but it is something every day that has to be entered and submitted and we collect those,” Ewing said.

“Our kids want to get out and play so allowing them to have to opportunity to play is great. We just got to pray over them and hope everything works out well,” Ohio resident Kenya Frazier said.

The Marion County Public Health Department said if anyone wants to have an event with more than 1,000 people, they must submit them a safety plan.

It’s not a formal approval process more of a chance to make sure the organizer is following the current orders in place.

The games will last all weekend long.

Everyone who’s coming in from out of town is expected to follow all the orders set in place in Marion County.

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