Nets' Thursday Night Game Against Warriors Will Be Played In An Empty Arena

Coronavirus Forcing The Bay Area’s Chase Center To Remain Closed To Fans

Brandon Contes
March 11, 2020 - 2:16 pm

In the middle of their West Coast roadtrip, the Brooklyn Nets will play the Golden State Warriors in front of an empty arena Thursday night.

As the city of San Francisco announced a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people, Marc Stein reports the Warriors will be instructed to keep their Thursday night game closed to fans.

San Francisco is the latest city to instruct a ban on gatherings of large groups of people because of the highly contagious coronavirus, but this is the first NBA game that will reportedly be played with no fans in the building.

It’s the Nets first and only trip to Golden State this season, which would have created the unique situation of Kevin Durant returning to the city where he won two titles with no fans in attendance. Durant was in attendance for the Nets Tuesday night win against the Lakers in Los Angeles, but remains out for the season as he recovers from an ACL tear.

Closing arenas and stadiums to fans will likely become a more prominent occurrence in the United States as more cities ban large gatherings of people. Playing without fans in attendance is not without precedence. In 2015, the Orioles and White Sox played in an empty stadium amid civil unrest within the city of Baltimore.    

Last week reports of the NBA possibly playing in arenas closed to the fans were met with dissatisfaction from face of the league LeBron James, who said he wouldn’t play under those circumstances. But James later walked back the statement and said he understands the need for safety.