NBA 2020-21: With the new season starting on the 22nd of December, the League plans to bring back fans in the arenas at a 25-50 percent capacity.
The NBA has faced huge financial losses in the past season due to Covid-19. With masks and Social Distancing protocols in effect, it is being planned to allow the fans under statewide regulations.
The two parties are expected to make a decision regarding the start of the new season this week. The League is working towards starting the season on December 22, rather than in January.
With the season expected to begin on December 22, the training camp will begin on the 1st of December. The 2020-21 NBA Draft will be held virtually on November 18 with the Free Agency following shortly after.
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Pros of starting the season early rather than in January:
- The NBA will save up to $500 Million with an early start in December
- A late start might see the NBA Postseason clash with the 2021 Tokyo Olympics
- Broadcasting partners – ESPN and Turner will also prefer an early start
- An early start will help the 2021-22 season start in its original month – October
Commissioner Adam Silver had a positive tone while addressing the return of NBA fans to the arenas next season.
“With appropriate protocols in terms of distancing and advanced testing, you will be able to bring fans back into arenas. It’s certainly our goal. But it’s dependent on some additional advancements. Rapid testing may be the key here.“ said Adam Silver.
Fans and sponsorships make up to 40% of the League’s income. Allowing fans in arenas with Masks and Social Distancing protocols will certainly help increase the League’s Basketball Related Income (BRI).