Concerns from multiple college basketball programs about the threat of contracting the Zika virus has prompted ESPN to move its annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off off the island to Orlando, Florida. The dates for the tournament will still be held on Nov. 17, 18 and 20. The teams participating with Mizzou include Arizona State, Clemson, Davidson, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, Tulane and Xavier.
Statement from Mizzou Men’s Basketball head coach Kim Anderson:
“The health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and fans is the most important factor behind this decision. While we are disappointed we won’t be going to Puerto Rico, we are excited that ESPN has arranged for us to play at Walt Disney World – an outstanding venue. Orlando will undoubtedly be a great host for our traveling Mizzou fans, and we are looking forward to the challenge that this tournament presents.”
Reps from some of the schools shared concerns to ESPN after a report from the New York Times reported that Zika cases in Puerto Rico were “skyrocketing.” There was also the concern that the Zika scare would affect attendance from fans.
The games will be played at Disney World.