Golden State Warriors to Play First NBA Game without Fans After San Francisco Places Ban on Large Crowds due to Coronavirus Plague

FILE – In this Aug. 26, 2019, file photo, the Golden State Warriors championship banners hang above the seating and basketball court at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors will play the Brooklyn Nets at home Thursday night, March 12, 2020, in the first NBA game without fans since the outbreak of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)AP

The Golden State Warriors announced Wednesday that the team will play its next home game without fans after San Francisco placed a ban on large events.

The Golden State Warriors will play Thursday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets without spectators due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, the team announced.

The decision comes after San Francisco Mayor London Breed banned public gatherings of 1,000 or more people as coronavirus continues to affect U.S. cities and sporting events around the world.

“We know that this Order is disruptive, but it is an important step to support public health,” Breed said in a statement. “We’re following the recommendations of public health officials to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

The Warriors also said events through March 21 at the Chase Center will be canceled or postponed.

“Fans with tickets to Thursday and Saturday night’s games will receive a refund in the amount paid,” the team statement said. “Guests who purchased tickets to a concert occurring at Chase Center during the impacted dates will be notified through the promoter directly to either receive a refund or exchange for a rescheduled show at Chase Center.”

According to a report from ESPN, the National Basketball Association is also considering moving games to cities currently not impacted by the coronavirus.

The NBA also released two memos last week, the second of which it advised teams to make contingency plans should the league decide to play games in arenas without spectators.

In a statement Wednesday, an NBA spokesperson said it would monitor developments in San Francisco to determine how to handle the games for the rest of the Warriors’ season.

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SOURCE: CNBC, Jabari Young