The Los Angeles Lakers announced that beginning on April 15, fans will be able to return to Staples Center.
The Lakers become one of the latest teams to re-open their arenas to fans amidst the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. California has been one of the most conservative states in regards to re-opening establishments, but the rising number of vaccinated individuals and downward trend of cases makes re-opening more feasible.
The Lakers released a statement with the news.
“We are incredibly excited that the State of California announced guidelines today that will allow Lakers fans to return to STAPLES Center. Now that we have the guidance, we will work with LA County Public Health and STAPLES Center to finalize our plans to have fans safely attend our games starting with the Lakers vs. Celtics game on April 15. We look forward to welcoming Lakers fans back to STAPLES Center to continue the journey with us to defend our NBA title.”
It is unclear how many fans will actually be able to attend games, but this is a welcomed development as the Lakers have been sorely missing the energy from a live crowd. Players like LeBron James have been hopeful they could play in front of fans during the 2020-21 season, and now they will finally get their wish.
Los Angeles has been adamant they will not be raising their 2020 NBA Championship banner until fans could be in attendance, so there is the possibility that they could hoist it when they play the Celtics. While an announcement about that could be made soon, it is good to know fans will be back in time for that specific game.
Frank Vogel excited for fans to return to Staples Center
Like his players, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has also missed having fans in Staples Center. He noted it will be good to have them back for both the team and the city of Los Angeles.
“That’s going to be super exciting for our whole community,” Vogel said. “I know our guys our coaches our organization internally will be really excited about it. I think the players on the floor will notice the energy that our fans bring and obviously we don’t know how many fans will be in there yet, but just having some in there will bring us great energy and I’m just happy for the L.A. community.
“One of everybody’s favorite things to do is go to a Lakers game and they haven’t been able to do that during this pandemic, so just really excited about this news.”
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