Wednesday morning, the mayor of San Francisco banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people in an effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus through his city and the region (nearby Santa Clara county did the same thing).
The Warriors are scheduled to play the Nets Thursday night at Chase Center and that appears to be the first NBA game played without a crowd due to the coronavirus. The Warriors have confirmed the news.
After this game the Warriors are on the road for five games, returning March 25.
This comes on the same day NBA owners have a scheduled conference call with Commissioner Adam Silver and other league officials to discuss the next steps for the NBA is slowing the spread of the disease. On Thursday, it’s team presidents and GMs who will be involved in similar calls with the league office. On those calls, the league is expected to lay out a range of options, including trying to move games to cities where outbreaks have not hit, or — as the Warriors will do — playing games in empty arenas with no fans.
The idea of pausing the league is not off the table.
The Warriors aren’t the only team potentially facing these challenges. Tuesday, Ohio governor Mike DeWine requested there be a pause in mass indoor gatherings to watch sporting events, which would impact the Cavaliers when they return from their current road trip. The mayor of Washington, D.C., made the same request, as did the mayor of Houston. Other cities and states are expected to follow suit.
More than 1,000 people have tested positive for COVAD-19 in the United States, with 30 deaths attributed to the virus. Internationally, the World Health Organization has officially declared it a pandemic.