If you thought you’d be able to attend basketball games next season, you may want to think again.
National Basketball Players Association leadership believes no fans will be allowed to attend games for the entirety of the 2020-21 campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.
That would mean the NBA would lose billions of dollars in ticket revenue over an 82-game season and the playoffs. NBPA brass made the 80-plus players on a conference call Friday aware of the likelihood of spectator-less games next season.
The league is expected to resume the 2019-20 campaign at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando next month, though there’s been plenty of pushback from players recently, led by Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving.
Other leagues across the globe have had successful restarts with fanless events, including Germany’s Bundesliga, NASCAR, IndyCar, UFC and just this week the PGA Tour.
The NBA isn’t the only league set to return in the United States in the coming months. The NHL has entered Phase 2 of its return-to-play-plan and could begin games as early as August and the NFL is set to allow teams to begin training camps on July 28.