The Golden State Warriors will play Thursday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets with no fans inside the Chase Center, the team announced Wednesday.
“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,” the team tweeted. “Fans with tickets to this game will receive a refund in the amount paid.”
The Warriors are still meeting about the matter, and further direction could come from a league owners call Wednesday afternoon, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. After Thursday’s game, the Warriors are away from the Chase Center until March 25.
Golden State players are set to meet with members of team management to be updated on the latest information, sources told Wojnarowski.
In a statement, NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league is “closely monitoring developments to determine the appropriate course for future Warriors home games and will continue to work with local governments, the CDC and public health experts to protect the health of our fans, players, coaches and staff in NBA markets across the country.”
The team’s decision followed an order from the San Francisco Health Office prohibiting events where 1,000 or more people assemble. The Warriors tweeted that other events at the Chase Center through March 21 — consisting of three concerts and a G League game — would be canceled or postponed.
In a meeting with the National Basketball Players Association on the coronavirus crisis Wednesday, the NBA and union discussed ways to continue the season without the cancellation or loss of games while conceding the sport was trending toward a period of time without fans in attendance at arenas, sources told ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski.
The NBA/NBPA discussions were a prelude to a larger conference call with the NBA board of governors, sources said. The call is expected to include one designated ownership representative of each team, sources said. There are two additional calls set for Thursday for team presidents and general managers, sources said.
The NBA is discussing a number of possibilities, including moving some games to NBA cities that have yet to suffer outbreaks, eliminating fans from buildings for games or, more drastically, suspending game operations for a period of time. The league is bracing for the losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars across the sport, sources told Lowe and Wojnarowski.
Also on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a congressional committee that he would recommend the NBA not allow fans at games in response to the coronavirus.
The San Francisco Giants announced that a March 24 exhibition game against the Oakland Athletics at Oracle Park will not be played. The Giants said they are working with the Athletics to “finalize alternative arrangements.”
The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has topped 1,000, with the number of deaths at 31.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.