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Warriors hope return of fans at Chase gives them extra juice originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Friday will be a special day for Warriors fans. They’ll be able to see their beloved team in person for the first time in over a year when Golden State takes on the Denver Nuggets.
The team couldn’t be more excited.
Coach Steve Kerr on Wednesday said the Warriors have a lot to look forward to.
“You know, we've got fans coming into our building for the first time in a couple nights and that's going to give us a lot of energy, a lot of juice,” Kerr said following the 118-114 loss to the Washington Wizards. “We've got a lot of guys playing well, we've got a good groove, a good rhythm, and hopefully, we'll get Damion [Lee] and Juan [Toscano-Anderson] back pretty soon. But I like the position we're in. We've got a lot of home games to try to take advantage of and continue to build on our momentum from the last couple of weeks.”
The Warriors, in accordance with the California State Department of Public Health guidelines, will host up to 35 percent of capacity on Friday. All fans, as well as personnel, must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test that had been administered within 48 hours prior to the game.
Across other leagues, fans have been allowed to attend games at a limited capacity with the presence of the faithful reminding athletes how imperative they are to the game experience.
Warriors forward Kelly Oubre Jr. said something similar after Wednesday’s loss.
“Fans bring an extra set of passion and emotion to the game, so I'm super excited to get back out and perform in front of them, also hear their chants, their cheers,” Oubre said. “It's going to be super exciting.”
Steph Curry agreed the change in atmosphere will be a big deal. He misses seeing fans in the stands, but admitted he wants to make sure the Warriors don’t get ahead of themselves despite it being a day fans are looking forward to.
“We’re going to enjoy the atmosphere and I think I talked about it before, it’s definitely noticeable even if you have just 1,000 fans in the seats,” Curry said. “Obviously at Chase, three-quarters of a season, opening up a new building and getting shutdown. We’ve had a whole season now where we haven’t had any fans, so you’re kind of sick of looking at the blue tarp. You want to see some bodies there, enjoy the atmosphere. To your point, we don’t want to put too much pressure on ourselves, you know, try to get too far ahead of ourselves. We have a big game on Friday against a good Denver team that we have to get ready for.”
Kent Bazemore offered up his excitement as he ended his media availability.
“We’ll see y’all in the Bay we got fans too at Chase Center -- I cannot wait,” he said. “Bring it! Let’s go!”
Warriors fans who show proof of full vaccination, don’t need to produce a negative COVID-19 test, unless they are sitting within 30 feet of the court. Fully vaccinated fans have the chance to buy tickets in designated sections of the arena bowl.
The last time Chase Center hosted fans was on March 10, 2020, a Warriors' 131-107 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.