Warriors Aim To Use Rapid Testing To Open Arena At 50% Capacity

The Warriors are hoping to receive approval from local and state officials – and from the NBA – to reopen Chase Center at 50% capacity for the 2020/21 season, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

As Shelburne explains, the Warriors have been working since March on a plan – internally called “Operation DubNation” – which involves testing fans for COVID-19 using rapid PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests that return results within 15 minutes and are believed to be about 99% accurate.

The NBA used PCR tests during its restart this summer, but had to wait overnight for the results of those tests. The rapid PCR tests have only emerged in recent months, with three companies receiving FDA approval and ramping up their production to make them more widely available, per Shelburne. The rapid tests are significantly more expensive, but the Warriors are prepared to dedicate $30MM to testing fans, employees, and players this season, according to ESPN.

[RELATED: NBA Sends Teams Memo Outlining Protocols For Hosting Fans]

The Warriors’ proposed plan would call for fans to wear masks and engage in social distancing. The team would also use a “state-of-the-art” air filtration system that’s capable of purging and replacing the building’s air supply up to four times in an hour, says Shelburne.

“I not only want to get this done and show the world how we can do it now, I’m willing to spend the money to do it,” Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob said. “This is a serious, serious problem. It cannot go on for multiple years … because if this were to go on for several years, the NBA is no more.

“You cannot sustain this league with no fans. You can do it for a year. We’ll all get by for a year. But suppose we’re in this situation next year. Now we’re talking some serious, serious financial damage to a lot of people.”

Even if the Warriors are willing to spend the money necessary to conduct rapid coronavirus testing for fans, the most significant roadblock will be getting approval from government officials. As Shelburne notes, California hasn’t approved fans for sporting events in any capacity during the pandemic, and San Francisco recently reinstituted several protocols to curb the spread of the virus. Lacob is hoping to receive approval once state and local officials hear the details of the Warriors’ plan and the science behind it.

“Let us prove the concept. Let us use our money, our resources, our seven-eight months of work, our expertise to prove the concept,” Lacob said. “That’s what I’m trying to get the state, the city and the government to entertain.

“… By springtime, the rapid PCR tests will be manufactured in amounts nearing 100,000 per day by some of these companies. But I’m trying to show the world, trying to show the sports world in particular, and California, a way to do this. A safe way to have people come to an event and be totally safe walking in that building. The numbers bear it out.”

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40 thoughts on “Warriors Aim To Use Rapid Testing To Open Arena At 50% Capacity

  1. Little_Dunker_45

    Very exciting. Golden warriors good test market for this. They have the money and the smarts. Fingers crossed…

      • Little_Dunker_45

        I am not saying if it works in nor cal it will guarantee to work everywhere. But you figure out what is working, what’s not, then begin to try other places. If they go where everyone is sick it will never get off the ground

  2. Sillivan

    San Francisco has the lowest rate by a big margin among big cities in US。South America and Europe

  3. bigeasye

    No way San Francisco allows this unless things drastically change. Just over the bridge Berkeley is essentially shutting down their season for close contacts despite negative tests. There’s no way the loonies in the Bay Area allow this.

    • dandan

      “Loonies” lol despite being the most populous state in the US by a lot, California is open and has significant curbed the spread of COVID-19 relative to the rest of the country right now. Sounds to me like they were diligent about how they went about this. You’re uneducated and it shows.

  4. saveferris009

    If pandemic goes on for several years, fans wouldnt be able to afford to go watch games regardless of arena protocols.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      Nor will hoopsrumors be able to purchase the servers for you to scorch us with hot takes…lol

  5. jjd002

    As someone that works in the mechanical industry there is no system that can be installed in this short of time that can recycle air 4 times a freaking hour, in a place as large as an NBA arena. The lead time on major air filtration items are like 6 months because of Covid. Most the mechanical work I do revolves around hospitals, so I’m constantly ordering that stuff.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      Yeah well we will see who is right and who is wrong…time will tell that story. I want basketball

      • jjd002

        I want all the sports to get back. Just saying the odds of this being correct/happening are not very high. However, if anyone can can get favors done it is sports teams/billionaires. Hopefully that’s not the case and the reason a hospital project gets delayed.

        I just got a quote on a simple UV Light and air scrubber. The lead time on that is 10-12 weeks. Before Covid it was a 2 week lead time. And this is just a little thing to serve a hallway of an ER, nothing something handling a large sports arena.

    • Howie415

      I always go see my mechanic when I am sick. Mechanics are the best at treating Cancer.

      • jjd002

        Mechanical industry does HVAC work…. In other words I know about ventilation and how air changes work.

      • x%sure

        And doctors are best when installing environment filtration systems. Great work Howie.

        • jjd002

          You’d be surprised the amount of doctors that try to tell us how to do our job based off of their Google research.

    • x%sure

      It could be a theoretical figure useful to a salesman, that 4x could be obtained if the fans were just sitting out in the parking lot. I just like the picture of a guy with sideways hair saying, “Yeah works, boss”.

  6. The Howler

    Superspreaders…clap…clap…clap, clap, clap Superspreaders…clap…clap…clap, clap, clap

  7. julyn82001

    Joe Lacob is just a tremendous co-owner and citizen. He is not afraid – nor selfish – to pull his check book when necessary. Kinda of reminds me of Yankees late owner George Steinbrenner… You don’t see that kind of commitment these days…

  8. Strike Four

    “You cannot sustain this league with no fans. You can do it for a year. We’ll all get by for a year. But suppose we’re in this situation next year. Now we’re talking some serious, serious financial damage to a lot of people.”

    This is a bunch of bull. Which people is he referring to? The owners? Who are still going to make a profit no matter what happens? There’s no “financial damage” to any fan due to the league not playing in front of fans. This reeks of cowardly greed from a billionaire.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      What about the people who work at the arenas? Concessions? Ticket sales? Team marketing? There is more to basketball than owners players head coach…I’ll wait

    • Sports guy 2005

      Arena workers, lower scale organization employees, players on cheap deals, G-league personnel.

      The billionaire owners and players like LeBron will be fine albeit they’ll lose money, but this is about the people we don’t see or talk about as much. They would be the ones that suffer.

    • GoLandCrabs

      Like dunker said. There are more to sports than the 30 owners. Try and have common sense 1 time.

      • ABStract

        Yeah, it’s an entire industry…not just one company
        There are tons of people throughout our society that make money from basketball that aren’t directly affiliated with the NBA

  9. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    Chase Center capacity is slightly over 18,000… 50% capacity means 9,000 people… “about 99% accuracy” means they can be wrong on “about” 90 people… 90 people in an enclosed space can cause a LOT of damage in regards to spreading the virus.

    Not sure they’ll get approval for this plan, but if nothing else, the pandemic has CERTAINLY proven that money is valued more highly than humans…

        • Little_Dunker_45

          My snide comment aside…you make a good point. 90 is a lot. Wonder if they start at 50% or ramp up. More details to come, I’m sure…

          • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

            I didn’t actually think it was snide!

            I’m watching developments like this closely, as I manage a concert venue in Memphis. We’re an outdoors venue, so the rules are different, but there’s still a LOT of this that we can use to increase our capacity, etc. Our capacity is 4,800, and so far we’ve only been cleared for maximum 300 TOTAL people at an event, meaning 300 total including audience, staff, performers. Our season is over, but we’re hoping (not optimistically) to be able to ramp things up a little in the spring.

            • Little_Dunker_45

              Very cool. Have you seen what White Oak in Houston is doing with GRID Concerts? They are smaller capacity but interesting idea. Wishing you luck…I know live music industry hurting a lot. Resilient bunch though…

  10. biffpocoroba

    Before people dismiss Lacob and the Warriors for being the ones to step out like this under those assumptions, can we at least all hope they succeed? If there is a franchise and venue where it can succeed, it would be the Warriors and Chase.

  11. x%sure

    Just to repeat a possible minor issue… fans are capable of waiting more than 15 minutes to get in… an hour-long wait, even standing if one can lean, or sitting on the ground, would not be too much to ask… they don’t have to engineer for 15 minutes just because the Lacob-rich class either can’t or won’t wait for that long.

    In theory the waitroom, or Q-room, would have to be pretty much closed off I think, no matter how long the wait.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      Theoretically…sure. Realistically, logistically – no. It has to be quick. National Basketball is an entertainment product as much as it is a sport and you need to cater to that. Not just about making a rich man smile faster.

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