COVID-19 protocols a priority at next week’s Valero Alamo Bowl, city officials say

Safety a factor in the NCAA’s decision on the Women’s Final Four in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – The NCAA will carefully scrutinize next week’s Valero Alamo Bowl as it decides whether to stage two major Women’s Final Four events at the Alamodome next year.

The NCAA is in talks with the city of San Antonio and others about bringing the entire women’s basketball tournament to the Alamodome in March and April.

“The Alamodome has to show that it could safely accommodate an event like this,” said Richard Oliver, director of partner and community relations for Visit San Antonio, referring to one of the factors on which the NCAA will base their opinion.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the Valero Alamo Bowl would be “essentially hosted by Metro Health” because of the pandemic.

Nirenberg said Metro Health been working with staff “to ensure that there’s proper distance between people who are seated, that there is proper ingress and egress, that all of the concessions are touchless, and that we have proper sanitation stations all throughout the facility -- that we have temperature checks at the doors.”

The mayor said enforcement will be a priority.

“People have to wear a mask while they’re inside the facility. If you don’t, you will be removed,” he said.

Oliver said the Alamodome’s capacity was already drastically reduced by 17% to 11,000 people.

“At the end of this pandemic-afflicted year, to have this bowl go off safely and warmly and accommodating for everybody would be a very seismic thing,” he said.

Oliver also said the NCAA will look at the Alamodome’s record so far.

“The Alamodome has hosted six UTSA football games in very similar situations this year with no negative impacts,” Oliver said.

He said the NCAA also knows that in the past, “They’ve had wonderful experiences here from back in 2018, the men’s Final Four to several of the championship events. They love San Antonio.”

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.