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.