The Los Angeles Lakers won’t have fans at Staples Center during the upcoming regular season until further notice. The Lakers also apparently don’t plan to hang their 17th title banner until fans are in the stands to celebrate the moment with them.
Sorry to burst your bubble, Lakers fans.
The Los Angeles NBA team announced Wednesday that, when the upcoming season starts in December, they won’t be allowing in-person attendance at the Staples Center.
Following a successful time inside the so-called “bubble” quarantine format for the Finals over the summer, the decision marks a shift to a different, socially distanced protocol amid the ongoing pandemic.
In a statement, the Lakers said there will be no fans for the 2020-2021 season “until further notice.”
“The health and safety of our fans, players, staff and community are our main priority and we will continue to work with state and local officials to come up with a plan to safely welcome fans back to Staples Center in adherence with local, State, and NBA guidelines,” read the statement.
After winning the NBA Finals in early October, the Lakers added that they will wait to install their victory banner until fans can be in attendance.
“We appreciate your continued support and look forward to coming together, when it is safe to do so, to celebrate the raising of our banner and the quest for another NBA championship,” the team said.
The health and safety of our fans, players, staff and community are our main priority and we will continue to work with state and local officials to come up with a plan to safely welcome fans back in adherence with local, State, and NBA guidelines.https://t.co/2DeKDX3yzf
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 12, 2020
Teams will reportedly begin training camp on Dec. 1, according to CBS Sports. The schedule will also get the league back on track for a more typical schedule that is set to end before the Tokyo Olympics, which are currently scheduled to begin in July 2021.
Shams Charania, a sports reporter for The Athletic and Stadium, reported that the NBA issued guidelines to all teams on Wednesday, outlining rules for spectators to attend games in parts of the country where that would be permitted.
According to the report, anyone within 30 feet of the court will have to have tested negative for COVID, and everyone inside the arena will be required to wear masks. Charania added that social distancing and capacity limitations will also be put in place.
This is going to be another interesting NBA seasons, with some teams having fans and others opting not to. Rona really needs to go away.