Coronavirus outbreak: NBA informs teams of possibility of playing games without fans in attendance
- The virus is reported to have affected over 100,000 people worldwide and so far caused over 3400 deaths as well.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA has reached out to teams across the league, intimating them about the possibility of playing games without fans and media in attendance. The league memo also asked teams to identify “essential staff” that would be needed in empty arenas.
As of now, organizing games behind closed doors - replicating the model being followed in Italy - is only a last-resort contingency plan for the NBA. But the surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the United States is causing palpable fear in the minds of those involved with the league's proceedings.
Many believe that letting go of media and fans will rip the heart and soul out of the spirit of the game. It will surely lead to a dip in TV ratings and a mammoth loss of revenue due to lack of ticket sales and brand marketing.
The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) have already suspended their season in February, and now a cloud of uncertainty also engulfs the 2020 Tokyo Olympics scheduled to be held in the month of July. Apart from Italy, several other countries in Europe are also grappling with emergency plans in case the situation doesn't improve soon.
The virus is reported to have affected over 100,000 people worldwide and so far caused over 3400 deaths as well.Published 07 Mar 2020, 15:51 IST