NBA Has Discussed Possibility Of Relocating Games

As the NBA continues to discuss potential responses to the coronavirus situation, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that one scenario the league has considered would involve relocating some games to NBA cities that have yet to suffer outbreaks.

For instance, if a team forced out of its home arena due to a local outbreak, the NBA has weighed the possibility of moving that club’s games to the opponents’ arena, or even to a neutral site, says Wojnarowski.

That’s just one of several possible measures being discussed by the NBA, which continues to mull the idea of disallowing spectators for games or even suspending games for a period of time. As Wojnarowski explains, the league’s conversations are complicated by the fact that limited public testing in the United States has resulted in an incomplete picture of how “widespread and debilitating” the virus may become.

Sources tell ESPN that the NBA has been hesitant to take a drastic step such as voluntarily eliminating fans from home games. However, the idea of moving games to new cities may be problematic too — bringing players and team personnel from an area more significantly affected by the virus to an area that hasn’t yet been affected seems ill-advised for containment purposes.

As we noted on Tuesday night, the Warriors are one team whose home games may be impacted sooner rather than later, as government officials in the Bay Area consider how extensively to limit indoor public gatherings. Conversations between San Francisco health officials and the Warriors have been ongoing, according to Wojnarowski, who hears from sources that Golden State is the NBA’s highest-grossing team on game nights, earning between $3.6-3.8MM per contest.

The NBA, which is scheduled to have a conference call with ownership representatives on Wednesday, has also scheduled a call with all 30 heads of basketball operations for Thursday, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Basketball leagues in Europe continue to be affected by the spread of coronavirus, with EuroLeague and EuroCup games in Italy being relocated.

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18 thoughts on “NBA Has Discussed Possibility Of Relocating Games

  1. phillyballers

    New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota are still unaffected. The new Top-5 Media Markets.

    • SheltonMatthews

      Probably just unaffected as we know it. I would say every place has it or we will hear about it having the virus very soon. It still seems like it’s relatively minor for most people, so stopping games might seem silly, but to those it does affect, it REALLY affects, so at this point, go fanless or postpone/cancel some games and wait it out.

      • 56,000 people die from flu or flu like symptoms every year, so far there has been 1000 cases of corona virus found in the US during this period of hysteria over it, 1000 cases, if you weren’t worried about the 56,000 I’m not sure why they are worried about 1000 cases, Americans shovel cheeseburgers from McDonald’s down their throats filled with hormones and steroids, our immune systems go HAM

        • hiflew

          It’s because people expect those flu deaths every year. If 50 soldiers get killed in a prolonged battle, it’s sad but not unexpected due to the setting. However, if 50 random people get killed at a concert people will lose their minds because that shouldn’t happen at concerts.

          This is just new and unexpected to people and hysteria is born.

        • phillyballers

          Well… you are making an argument about a lifestyle choice and spread of a pathogen. Kind of different. 35.5 M people affected by flu 2018-2019 globally with 34,200 deaths = 0.1% mortality rate. Currently the Coronavirus 122,399 confirmed cases and 4552 deaths = 3.7% mortality rate.

          1st death attributed to the virus was January 9th. So in 3 months we’ve gone from 1 to 4552.

          • SheaGoodbye

            The mortality rate isn’t likely to be that high due to the number of infected folks who wouldn’t know they have it. Of course, if healthcare systems continue to become overwhelmed, that figure might become more accurate.

            More importantly, left unchecked, this virus could infect many more than the flu. Put those two together and yeah, not great.

            • phillyballers

              CDC estimates that the burden of illness during the 2018–2019 season included an estimated 35.5 million people getting sick with influenza, 16.5 million people going to a health care provider for their illness, 490,600 hospitalizations, and 34,200 deaths from influenza (Table 1). The number of influenza-associated illnesses that occurred last season was similar to the estimated number of influenza-associated illnesses during the 2012–2013 influenza season when an estimated 34 million people had symptomatic influenza illness. – Source CDC.

              So that 35.5M indicates people they estimate had the flu, and half that sought medical attention.

              We’re dealing with just confirmed cases at this point not estimates, so if you take the flu model – double the cases, that still puts it 18x the normal strain’s mortality rate.

  2. hiflew

    So taking a bunch of people from areas affected by the virus and sending them to areas unaffected by the virus? Sure, no possible problems in that scenario.

    In a completely unrelated topic, which Walking Dead character do you think you will be in 2021?

  3. x%sure

    Just sayin, some of those posting here are old folks with preconditions.

    Societal overreacting misses the sweet spot of even moderate intelligence, but how often is that state achieved… especially given the need for massive cooperation and hasty movement. Nevermind federal leadership ha.

    This viral invasion is temporary but “the new normal”. Can be handled more easily.


    Put some games in markets where they could add teams via expansion.. Seattle being at top of list..

  5. El Don

    Man, surely they ain’t thinking about cancelling games for a silly virus, seriously? Sports is meant to be bigger & more important than the cold or the flu, the paranoia of it is driving me mad!

    • SheaGoodbye

      When someone you know passes away from the virus, let’s see you make this same comment again.

      And your logic is completely ridiculous. This is the real world, not your fantasy land where actions have no consequences. Sports are fake. Human life is not. Get your priorities straight.

      For the record, I say this as someone who isn’t especially worried about the virus personally. The world will endure and life will go on for a vast majority of us. But there’s nothing wrong with trying to minimize deaths and/or slow the spread of the disease in order to buy the experts working on a vaccine time.

  6. OCTraveler

    There are things bigger than the NBA … let’s allow sound judgment to override sports for once.

    • SheaGoodbye

      It’s amazing that some folks here have the audacity to put sports over human life, which is undoubtedly the case.

      Like, I completely understand disliking the panic and fear associated with it, which I too disagree with, but to actually argue that your sports entertainment is more important than attempting to slow the spread of the disease is absolutely insane, especially when we would know how infectious and how it has a higher death rate that the common flu. I wonder what they’ll say once we have millions of persons infected with it, including people they know and care about?

      The selfishness of some knows absolutely no bounds.

  7. SheaGoodbye

    Just ban fans from attending the games and refund them. It sucks, but if you’re going to do it ,do it right and don’t make things even worse in the process.

    Especially since, as stated in the article, “As Wojnarowski explains, the league’s conversations are complicated by the fact that limited public testing in the United States has resulted in an incomplete picture of how “widespread and debilitating” the virus may become.”

  8. stevep-4

    Let’s just infect all the players and then see who survives…the Darwin NBA here we come.

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