Despite the ongoing second wave of Covid-19 across the United States, the NBA is still planning to host fans in various arenas when the league opens its 2020-21 season on December 22.
On Wednesday, a four-page memo was distributed to team presidents, General Managers and arena directors on safety guidelines to admit fans – provided those guidelines to meet state regulations.
In Florida, where the Heat and Magic play, there are few regulations on large gatherings whereas, in case of the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, it does not meet regulations. Gov. Andrew Cuomo still has in place an edict stating “no live audience, fans, or spectators are allowed to attend or permitted to enter any professional sports venue, even if an outdoor venue.”
According to sources, the memo emphasized safety to “provide a consistent standard for welcoming fans into arenas in a safe manner that reduces the risk of spread of Covid-19, is consistent with public health goals, and promotes fan confidence in attending NBA games.”
The memo indicated fan admittance may only be applicable to “some teams.”Gov. Cuomo does not appear to be closer to lifting the ban. He implemented new curfew restrictions on indoor gatherings because of the spike, on Wednesday, limiting “indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences” to no more than ten people.
The NBA guidance, where applicable, requires a negative coronavirus test for those sitting within 30 get off the court but no testing for arena studies at 25 per cent capacity or less. Also, all fans entering the arena would have to complete a “symptom and exposure survey” and wear a mask while not eating or drinking.
A Garden spokesman told The Post, “We are following state guidelines. We look forward to the start of the season in December.”
Rest assured, there will be no “Celebrity Row” at the Garden. The memo stated that fans will not be allowed to sit “on the apron” of the court.