NBA Protocols For Eligible Teams To Host Fans During 2020-21 Season
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA and commissioner Adam Silver have done everything in their power to ensure the league’s financial health is as good as it can be during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The league got its wish when the NBPA agreed to a Dec. 22 start date for the 2020-21 season, making way for a 72-game schedule that will help ease the loss of revenue that will occur. Most notably, it guaranteed games would be played Christmas Day.

The two sides were also able to agree on salary cap and luxury tax thresholds for the upcoming year, an encouraging sign that the financial impact will be softened to a degree.

Coronavirus cases have risen in recent weeks, forcing the league to get creative when it comes to seating capacity for games. There was hope that arenas could gradually open up, but it remains to be seen what the data will look like when the season officially tips off.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA did recently send a memo to teams about protocols and guidelines for markets that will be eligible to host some fans:

States across the nation have opened up certain operating businesses in relation to the severity of coronavirus cases, meaning that certain teams will fortunately have fans in their arenas throughout the season.

The NBA exhibited their dedication to ensuring a safe experience for the players and staffs during the Orlando bubble, so there should be a belief that they will find a way to ensure that fans who attend will be protected as possible.

Other professional sports were able to have fans with limited issues, so the league may be able to pull this off. Right now, however, it remains to be seen what other guidelines will be implemented.

Bubble environment considered for playoffs

The NBA was also considering implementing bubble locations for the season, but that was apparently a non-starter for the NBPA.

However, it could be an option once the playoffs roll around. Fewer teams and less time on campus would make it feasible, and the lack of travel could make it more appealing this time around.

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