The Golden State Warriors just endured a setback in their quest to have fans at the Chase Center for the 2020-21 season.
On Wednesday, the city of San Francisco, citing public health risks, rejected the proposal put forth by the Warriors to host about 9,000 fans (50% capacity) at the Chase Center for home games, according to NBC Bay Area.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed — working alongside public health officials — began significantly tightening COVID-related restrictions again two days before the Warriors revealed their plan, which came on the same day that California became the second state to surpass one million positive cases (Texas).
Last week, Warriors CEO Joe Lacob told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that his organization would spend as much as $30 million for daily PCR testing for every fan, team employee and player who attends a game. Lacob was hoping to set an example:
“I not only want to get this done and show the world how we can do it now, I’m willing to spend the money to do it,” Lacob told Shelburne. “This is a serious, serious problem. It cannot go on for multiple years … because if this were to go on for several years, the NBA is no more. You cannot sustain this league with no fans. You can do it for a year. We’ll all get by for a year. But suppose we’re in this situation next year. Now we’re talking some serious, serious financial damage to a lot of people.”
Golden State opened the buzzy arena in the Mission Bay neighborhood prior to last season, only to see a depleted Warriors team sink to the bottom of the standings before live sports and events shut down altogether due to the ongoing pandemic.
A spokesman for the mayor’s office released a statement saying the city will work with the Warriors on plans to eventually host fans and stimulate long-term economic recovery for the area.
In terms of basketball, there could be more bad news coming for the Dubs, as they await the diagnosis of a lower-leg injury Klay Thompson suffered on Wednesday. Thompson spent the past 17 months rehabbing a torn ACL.
On the bright side, Golden State used the No. 2 overall pick in Wednesday’s draft to select über-athletic center James Wiseman.