During the 2020-21 NBA season, fans have been let into arenas at limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, that is expected to change in the 2021-22 season, according to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes.
“With COVID-19 testing becoming more available and more vaccines being administered, the NBA expects all arenas to be at full capacity next season and is hopeful that it can safely welcome additional fans into arenas this season, league sources said,” Holmes wrote.
“A key aspect toward that effort is the NBA’s new multiyear leaguewide partnership with Clear, a biometric screening company known for its expedited security process at hundreds of airports worldwide. The partnership makes Clear’s COVID-19 health screening technology available to all 30 teams in their NBA arenas, and it’s expected to help facilitate more fans returning to games, though it’s up to each team how to use the technology.”
Many teams are currently operating at 25 percent capacity or less this season.
Obviously, having fans back in the arenas at full capacity would help drive up the league’s revenue. However, that feat will hinge on the potential risk of the pandemic as well.
As the COVID-19 vaccines continue to get rolled out across the country, the NBA should have a better chance at safely welcoming thousands of fans back into arenas next season.