Sports in Society Fueled by fans

March Madness, after year without game audiences

Most fans haven’t attended a basketball game in over a year. They made up for lost games with passion and energy at the 2021 NCAA men’s tournament games in Indianapolis.

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The team identification–social psychological health model predicts that sport team identification leads to social connections which, in turn, result in well-being. Source: Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice

After a year without fans due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NCAA allowed a limited number of fans — up to 25% venue capacity with physical distancing — at the 2021 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship tournament in Indiana.  

Despite the pandemic, thousands of fans showed up to cheer on their teams. Determined to keep the culture alive, some of the fans attending second-round March Madness games on March 21, 2021, talked to iPondr about why they chose to cheer in person. 

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Kaiti Sullivan

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