Oklahoma City Thunder Announce No Fans in Attendance to Start the Season
Looks like Loud City won't be very loud to start the season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder just announced no fans will be in attendance for the start of the NBA season. The Coronavirus has thrown off all of the sports schedules. Normally, we would already be in the start of the NBA season at this time. Preseason is now scheduled to start in the middle of December.
You may remember the Thunder were a big part of the NBA shutdown. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was not taking the coronavirus seriously, calling it a hoax. He was not social distancing and also was purposely touching microphones and reporter's phones at a press conference. Rudy Gobert ended up testing positive just a few short days after those events before the Oklahoma City Thunder game.
The Thunder have been working with local health officials to make Chesapeake Energy Arena safe for fans in the upcoming season, but it looks like the start of the season will have empty seats. Thunder officials released the following statement:
“As we continue planning for the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, our absolute top priority is the health and safety of our guests and our community. For months, we have worked in close collaboration with Chesapeake Energy Arena, the City of Oklahoma City, local health officials, and the NBA to put into place thorough health and safety measures to allow for reduced seating capacity. However, as we review ongoing and concerning trends in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Oklahoma, we want to exercise an abundance of caution to help control the spread of the virus in our community. Therefore, the Thunder has made the decision to begin the season without fans in the arena.
“We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation over the coming weeks to determine when fans will be able to attend our games.
“We will take all necessary steps to create a safe environment for those who will be in attendance for games as the upcoming season begins, including players, coaches, staff, media and broadcasters.
“We urge everyone to take all the vital steps necessary to control the spread of the virus, especially wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining proper physical distance. As a community, we must all work together to get through this safely and move forward to welcome our fans into the arena to enjoy Thunder Basketball this season.”
We will see if the Dallas Mavericks plan to start the season without fans as well. I expect a similar announcement in the next few days from them as well.