I am having bad thoughts as the Coronavirus starts to take it’s toll in the USA. The probability that the sporting events that I love to attend might be cancelled or played without fans is becoming more and more a possibility. As of the Oklahoma City Thunder where I am a season ticket holder, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and his office has told the teams to prepare to play games with no fans if things go downhill.
As reported by the AP:
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA told its teams Friday that they should be developing processes in case it becomes necessary to play games without fans or media because of the coronavirus crisis.
The league sent a memo detailing potential actions teams could need to take “if it were to become necessary to play a game with only essential staff present.”
The memo, obtained by The Associated Press, says teams should identify which team and arena people would be necessary to conduct games, and be able to communicate quickly with non-essential staff, as well as ticket holders and corporate partners.
Teams should also be prepared “for the possibility of implementing temperature checks on players, team staff, referees, and anyone else who is essential to conducting such a game in the team’s arena.” The letter also says teams should plan for scenarios in which media could attend games under revised media policies.
The league had already offering 10 recommendations to players with hopes of decreasing risks of getting the virus — among them, not taking items such as pens, markers, balls and jerseys from autograph seekers. (https://www.timesleader.com/wire/nation-world/775346/nba-teams-should-get-plan-in-place-if-virus-keeps-fans-away)
For Oklahoma Sooner fans, NCAA basketball tournament games are also in play for a fan ban. Again, as of the NCAA:
An NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament game on the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, was played in an empty gym Friday in what was believed to be the first U.S. sports event held without fans because of the coronavirus, though an NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel said it is “not recommending cancellation or public spacing of athletic and related events scheduled to occur in public spaces across the United States.” This can change upon the virus as of the severity. (https://www.timesleader.com/wire/nation-world/775346/nba-teams-should-get-plan-in-place-if-virus-keeps-fans-away)
The spring football game for college football teams are a possibility to be cancelled with regard to spectators too. With the cancellation of the South by Southwest Film festival as a recent example, the universities will have to make difficult decisions as this virus continues to spread. Could the upcoming football seasons, college and NFL, be in jeopardy? What to you think sports fans?
OU photo: Tulsa World