NBA Owners Preparing As If Games Will Be Played Minus Fans In Arena

Sam Amico

NBA team owners are "bracing for the possibility" that games will be played in empty arenas amidst concerns over the coronavirus, according to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

The NBA has already joined other pro sports leagues in temporarily removing media access to locker rooms and the fans could be the next to be removed from buildings.

"Team owners and executives more and more are bracing for that possibility," Wojnarowski said on SportsCenter. "They were told by the league to prepare for the possibility that that's going to happen before the end of the regular season."

According to Wojnarowski, the league held a conference call with team physicians Monday to go over precautions regarding the virus. Teams must have contingency plans for games without fans prepared for the league on Tuesday.

A conference call between team owners and the league office is scheduled for Wednesday, Wojnarowski reported. 

"That's a little bit of a moment of inflection, where you are now with the top decision-makers in the league about what are the next steps for the NBA," he said.

As for the reality of games temporarily being played in empty arenas, Wojnarowski reported that team owners seem to strongly feel it will happen.

"The league office is still cautious with that, saying, 'We're not there yet,'" Wojnarowski said. "They have not yet made recommendations to take fans out of the buildings. 

"But when you talk to the teams, that chance is increasing with every day."