Los Angeles Lakers Won’t Have Fans At Staples Center Until Further Notice
The NBA hopes to have fans at games for the start of the 2020-21 season, but the reigning NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers won’t be allowing any at the Staples Center for the foreseeable future.
Per the Associated Press, the Lakers announced in a statement that they won’t have fans at home games until further notice, citing the guidance of health officials.
The Lakers also won’t be raising their 2020 NBA Champions banner at the Staples Center until they can welcome fans in attendance. Teams traditionally raise the banner at their home opener.
The Los Angeles Clippers and NHL’s Los Angeles Kings also play in the Staples Center, Those two teams most certainly won’t have fans in attendance either until further notice.
The NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers haven’t had any fans in attendance for their 2020 home games. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball, along with the other 28 teams, played their games without any fans in attendance.
Last week, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that the NBA is eyeing a capacity of “25-to-50 percent for” teams’ arena suites at the start of the 2020-21 season. He noted that there would be protocols such as COVID-19 testing, masks and social distancing.
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The NBA Draft takes place next Wednesday, with free agency beginning two days later. The plan is for the 72-game regular season to begin on Dec. 22, although the league hasn’t released its schedule.
It’ll be a quick turnaround for the NBA, who only completed the 2019-20 season a month ago on Oct. 11, with the Lakers clinching the title after defeating the Miami Heat in Game 6.
The NHL, meanwhile, is hoping to start its regular season on Jan. 1. Divisional realignment is likely, and it’s unclear how many games the regular season schedule will consist of.
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