The NBA is going through the protocols to allow fans to attend games this upcoming season
The NBA has already made the decision to start the 2020-21 season before Christmas. Next up on the agenda is figuring out how to have fans in attendance and get that extra revenue stream throughout the season.
Not every market is going to be eligible to host fans. For those who are, NBA insider Shams Charania shared the details of how that process will go.
NBA outlining fan protocols
The key here is expanded testing for regular citizens. Charania explains how the league will require a negative test for those sitting within 30 feet of the court. That is obviously in place to protect the players, but what about fans sitting near each other without any test results?
One solution to protect the players would be to enclose the court behind plexiglass, as Charania states. As for the fans, wearing masks and socially distancing is a good start. It will likely come down to the individual municipalities to determine how many people can actually attend.
The NBA faces the challenge of safely having fans indoors. It would be a shock if there were large crowds at any games, considering the limited capacity at NBA arenas compared to NFL stadiums. Getting the suite revenue is likely a major concern, and even getting those one-quarter filled could be a nice revenue source.
This will be a fluid situation and it will be interesting to see the first game with actual fans in attendance. If anything, successfully having fans in the stands will be one nice small step toward getting back to a sense of normalcy.