The Warriors could be the first NBA team whose home games are jeopardized by the coronavirus. There are “strong, strong, strong indications” that Golden State’s home game on Tuesday is likely to be the last one in the area not played in an empty arena for awhile, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic tweets.
There will soon be a clear decision and announcement on sports events in the San Francisco area, Kawakami adds. The Warriors moved into their new arena in San Francisco this fall.
Fear of the virus apparently impacted attendance on the Warriors’ game against the Clippers, as Monte Poole from NBC Sports Bay Area tweeted out a photo of pockets of empty seats in the normally filled area. The Warriors are scheduled to play another home game against the Nets on Thursday, then embark on a road trip before returning to play the Hawks on March 25.
The league is scheduled to hold a conference call with team owners and governors on Wednesday to discuss the matter.
The virus has already impacted a conference basketball tournament at an NBA venue. The Mid-American Conference tournament, which will be held in Rockets Mortgage Fieldhouse — the Cavaliers’ home area — will be closed to the general public. That decision came hours after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recommended that sporting events at indoor facilities in the state take place without spectators.
The NHL’s San Jose Sharks are pondering what to do with their home games after Santa Clara County’s Public Health Department announced on Monday a mandatory order requiring cancellation of “mass gatherings” of more than 1,000 people for three weeks. The Sharks appear to be leaning toward playing those games in their home arena without fans, rather than moving them to a neutral or road site.