The Golden State Warriors are the first NBA team ordered to play home games in an empty arena after San Francisco Mayor London Breed banned public events attended by 1,000 or more people for the next two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Warriors, who have been warning sick fans and those at risk for infection to stay away from the Chase Center since the weekend, host the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday.
“Due to escalating concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and in consultation with the City and County of San Francisco, the Golden State Warriors announced today that tomorrow night’s game vs. the Brooklyn Nets at Chase Center will be played without fans,” the team said in a statement. “In addition, all events through March 21 will be canceled or postponed at this time. Fans with tickets to Thursday and Saturday night’s games will receive a refund in the amount paid. Guests who purchased tickets to a concert occurring at Chase Center during the impacted dates will be notified through the promoter directly to either receive a refund or exchange for a rescheduled show at Chase Center.
“We will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely to determine next steps for future games and events. We appreciate the understanding and patience of our fans, guests and partners during this unprecedented time.”
The NBA’s governors held a conference call this afternoon to discuss the league’s next response to the spread of the virus — a response that could include a league-wide restriction on who can be in the building for league games as the country tries to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The San Francisco Giants announced Wednesday that their scheduled March 24 exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics will not take place at Oracle Park because of the mayor’s ban. The team said in a statement that it is working with Major League Baseball and the A’s “to finalize alternative arrangements.”
Washington state has canceled events with more than 250 people in a three-county area through the end of March, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday. The Seattle Mariners are exploring options of playing their MLB games in another location. The state has been the hardest hit in the U.S. by the coronavirus, where more than 270 people have contracted the virus and 23 have died.