If the NBA returns to finish out the 2019-20 season, it sure seems as if there won't be any fans in attendance at games.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA has the ability to delay a decision to resume this season into June, but even if they do decide to play again, fans are not expected to be able to attend games.
Sources: Commissioner Adam Silver told NBA players on call Friday:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 8, 2020
- If season resumes, no fans expected
- 40% of league revenue comes from fans
- Season decision can go into June
- Until coronavirus vaccine, there is risk; will be living with the virus for foreseeable future
The latter point that Charania makes about the risk of the virus is especially key. And as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports, Adam Silver is preparing players for the possibility that the absence of fans in arenas could extend to next year.
With fans in buildings constituting 40 percent of league revenue, the NBA is working on creative ways on TV to deliver the games to audiences, Silver told players. Silver started to prepare players for possibility of no fans in arenas next year without a vaccine, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2020
That certainly is far from ideal. But it is a decision that the NBA may have to face at some point further down the line.
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For the time being, the most important item on the league's agenda will be figuring out whether or not they can continue the current season. It appears that playing in front of fans is out of the question and the preferred option is to use Las Vegas or Orlando as a centralized location for all remaining games.
Will that end up happening? It's still unclear, but at some point, the league will have to make a decision.
As long as the NBA is mulling this critical decision, the Boston Celtics will be out of action. The C's were in third place in the Eastern Conference at 43-21 before the coronavirus shut down the NBA in mid-March.
NBA Rumors: If there's no COVID-19 vaccine, NBA may bar fans into next season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston