Report: Warriors to Play Home Games Without Fans for Foreseeable Future

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2020

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 27:  A detailed view of the
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The city of San Francisco announced a ban Wednesday on gatherings of more than 1,000 people, which includes home games of the NBA's Golden State Warriors, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group provided a statement from Mayor London Breed:

Kerry Crowley @KO_Crowley

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has issued a press release announcing that all gatherings of 1,000 people or more in the city will be prohibited. https://t.co/oiJ9cBQpGK

The Warriors confirmed they will play Thursday's game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Chase Center without fans:

Golden State Warriors @warriors

Due to escalating concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, and in consultation with the City and County of San Francisco, tomorrow night’s game vs. the Nets at Chase Center will be played without fans. Fans with tickets to this game will receive a refund in the amount paid. https://t.co/DMpO71ocvg

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski noted the Warriors plan to play home games without a crowd for the "foreseeable future" in light of the news.

Wojnarowski noted the NBA board of governors is scheduled to hold a conference call Wednesday to determine alternative options as bans on large gatherings become more widespread.

Among the ideas on the table are moving games to the road team's city if it hasn't dealt with a coronavirus outbreak, playing in a neutral city, playing games without fans in attendance or an indefinite suspension of the schedule, per Wojnarowski.

The Warriors played Tuesday's home game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Chase Center with fans in attendance. The decision drew the ire of San Francisco supervisor Aaron Peskin, who told Joe Eskenazi of Mission Local:

"I have personally spoken to the head of the Warriors organization, Rick Welts. I have expressed my desire that they do this voluntarily before, in the days ahead, we do it as an emergency public health order. It's not a matter of 'if.' It's a matter of 'when.' I hope they come to that conclusion before we make them come to that conclusion."

Golden State head coach Steve Kerr told reporters after the Clippers game it was "absolutely a possibility" to play closed-doors contests, but he was waiting on further guidance.

"It's a first for me. It's brand new and it's strange and I don't really know what to think, even just in everyday life. Just visiting with friends and gathering, it's awkward. You don't want to shake hands you're doing the bash brothers thing. How are we supposed to act? It's all very strange and awkward. We're just going to do what we're told to do and look forward."

The Warriors have seven home games left on their 2019-20 schedule, ranging from Thursday night through April 13 against the Portland Trail Blazers.