NBA

Warriors planning to allow 50 per cent fan capacity for NBA season

By Sports Desk November 13, 2020

The Golden State Warriors have submitted a plan that aims to reopen Chase Center at 50 per cent capacity for the 2020-21 NBA season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A December 22 start date for a 72-game regular season, not the usual 82-game schedule, has been tentatively approved following the COVID-19-hit 2019-20 campaign.

The NBA season was shut down in March before resuming behind closed doors at the Orlando bubble in July, with the Los Angeles Lakers claiming the championship in October.

As teams prepare for the new campaign, Warriors owner Joe Lacob is aiming to allow spectators back into the venue in San Francisco amid vigorous testing.

"I not only want to get this done and show the world how we can do it now, I'm willing to spend the money to do it," said Lacob.

"This is a serious, serious problem. It cannot go on for multiple years ... because if this were to go on for several years, the NBA is no more.

"You cannot sustain this league with no fans. You can do it for a year. We'll all get by for a year. But suppose we're in this situation next year.

"Now we're talking some serious, serious financial damage to a lot of people."

Lacob added: "Let us prove the concept. Let us use our money, our resources, our seven-eight months of work, our expertise to prove the concept. That's what I'm trying to get the state, the city and the government to entertain.

"This [rapid PCR] test is orders of magnitude more accurate than the [rapid antigen] test at the [White House] Rose Garden event. This is the best you can do. A lot of people don't even know these tests exist yet, and they are ramping them up.

"By springtime, the rapid PCR tests will be manufactured in amounts nearing 100,000 per day by some of these companies. But I'm trying to show the world, trying to show the sports world in particular, and California, a way to do this. A safe way to have people come to an event and be totally safe walking in that building. The numbers bear it out."

The Warriors endured a forgettable 2019-20 season, missing the playoffs.

With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson injured, and Kevin Durant off to the Brooklyn Nets, the Warriors finished with a 15-50 record.

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