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March Madness, Wrestlemania events moving forward as Coronavirus hits Tampa Bay

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Posted at 11:06 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 23:13:54-05

TAMPA, Fla. — As state health officials confirm a third case of coronavirus in Tampa Bay, organizers and city leaders say major events in Tampa will go on as planned.

Amalie Arena is hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament March 19 and March 21.

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More than 70,000 fans from all over are expected to attend WrestleMania 36 April 5 at Raymond James Stadium.

"A threat to public safety is a threat," said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. "It doesn’t matter if it’s medical, if there’s some type of illness or it’s an active shooter."

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor told ABC Action News there are no plans to cancel or delay either major events.

"We are prepared, but the responsibility goes down to every single citizen," said Mayor Castor.

"I think you have to consider every event on its own," said Dr. Jason Wilson, with Tampa General Hospital. "Pay attention to the Department of Health guidelines that are coming out and changing every single day."

On Tuesday, the NCAA announced the formation of a coronavirus advisory panel involving a half-dozen doctors and student athlete liaisons.

“The NCAA is committed to conducting its championships and events in a safe and responsible manner,” said Donald Remy, NCAA chief operating officer. “Today we are planning to conduct our championships as planned, however, we are evaluating the COVID-19 situation daily and will make decisions accordingly.

“We are actively monitoring COVID-19 in the United States and will make recommendations on competition based on the evolving medical protocols established by the CDC, NIH and state and local authorities,” said Hainline. “We are in daily contact with the CDC and are advising leadership on the Association’s response to this outbreak.”

The WWE sent the following statement to ABC Action News:

The health and safety of our fans, performers and employees are our top priorities and we are monitoring the situation closely with our partners and government officials in Tampa Bay. We remain committed to hosting WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, April 5, and like other entertainment properties in the U.S., there are currently no plans to cancel or postpone our upcoming events.