Butler Bulldogs to open men's basketball season with up to 1,500 fans at home

The Butler Bulldogs will open their men's basketball season Wednesday night with up to 1,500 fans at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

School officials say they voluntarily decided to limit capacity to fewer than the 2,275 fans the Marion County Department of Health approved because it will be the first game played under the school's new COVID-19 protocols.

Fans will be subjected to temperature checks and are required to follow social distancing measures and wear face coverings.

Butler opens play against Western Michigan and says it will consider increasing capacity to 2,000 fans for Sunday's second home game, against Eastern Illinois.

Athletic director Barry Collier says in a statement that capping fan capacity at roughly 15% for the opener takes into account the trending COVID-19 numbers locally.

Indiana University announced last week that it won't begin this season with fans in the stands.