The 2020-21 season is set to tipoff on Dec. 22, a welcomed sight as the NBA and NBPA negotiated the start date for weeks before finally coming to an agreement.
Although the upcoming season will start sooner rather than later, there are still several issues that need to be ironed out before both sides can find comfort. Things like scheduling, player salary escrow percentages, and a potential play-in tournament are all on the table and resolutions for those should be finalized in the coming weeks.
The quick start also allows the league to make up some of the revenue lost due to the absence of gate and concessions in arenas. Commissioner Adam Silver had hoped that fans would be able to watch in a limited capacity, but the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has only gotten worse in recent weeks and a vaccine does not appear to be coming anytime soon.
While the NBA has been carefully listening to health professionals and experts on how to proceed, college football has gone on without a hitch. Notre Dame’s fans stormed the field after their thrilling upset over Clemson, prompting Kyle Kuzma to comment.
But we can’t have fans? I’m confused https://t.co/9lRFoJZJTJ
— kuz (@kylekuzma) November 8, 2020
It was a sight that raised numerous questions and concerns as thousands of students without masks decided to rush the field despite the current health crisis. Notre Dame has since announced stricter protocols in response to the student body’s actions.
Fortunately, the Los Angeles Lakers are taking the pandemic seriously as there have been no plans for a widespread celebration of their 2020 NBA championship. Owner Jeanie Buss recently promised fans they would get together as soon things are safe, but that could be well into next year assuming the infection rates hold steady.
While basketball fans may have to wait to watch games live again, it is in everyone’s best interest to keep the arenas empty in order to slow the spread of the virus.
Fans in suites a potential workaround
While fans in general arena seating are not in the cards, the NBA is discussing a proposal to have limited capacity in suites.
The idea would be to have about 25-50% of fans in suites, a solid option considering the alternatives. This would comply with social distancing and capacity guidelines and should heavily be considered.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!