March Madness is off.
The NCAA canceled both its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments on Thursday.
NBC News reports: The move comes after most of the NCAA’s conferences suspended their individual tournaments, including its “power conferences,” the Pac-12, Big 10, ACC, Big 12 and SEC. On Wednesday, the NCAA made the unprecedented decision to close its March Madness competitions to all but essential staff and limited family members.At the time, it was the biggest move by an athletic body in response to the outbreak of the new coronavirus. But within a matter of hours, the NBA took its response a step further after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus, suspending play for the entire league. Following that news, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball paused or postponed their seasons.
More from Newsweek: The NCAA men’s tournament is not only the governing body’s top show piece, but it’s a lucrative bell cow. The men’s basketball tournament, dubbed March Madness, brings in nearly $1 billion in revenue for the three-week tournament. Money is brought in not just from fans attending the game, but there are lavish TV deals, TV advertising and corporate sponsorships that drive revenue, which is distributed back to the participating schools and conferences. The NCAA keeps 4 percent of that, which last year would have equated to $37.3 million—just from the men’s basketball tournament. The NCAA men’s tournament posted $933 million in revenue from last year’s tournament, according to Investopedia. The NCAA makes more than $850 million annually in TV deals for basketball, according to CNBC.