Technology / 12.23.20
NBA Plans to Transition Away From Holding Virtual Fans for 2020-21 Season
USA Today (12/18/20) Medina, Mark
With the National Basketball Association (NBA) scheduled to start the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22, the league will migrate away from hosting virtual fans. "What we’re more focused on is having the fans back and being present and creating opportunities for flexibility," said the NBA's Sara Zuckert. "So it’ll vary city to city. But those LED boards are certainly not conducive in many ways to have fans present." Although every NBA team can still support the virtual setup this season, but it would depend on that each team’s logistical capabilities and preferences. A handful of teams intend to begin their seasons with a small number of fans, but the majority will start the season with no fans in their home venues. The NBA eventually could invite fans into arenas depending on the COVID-19 spread rate, the distribution of a vaccine, and each local government's rules for large indoor gatherings. According to Zuckert, teams with videoboards will be able to display graphics and fan videos throughout games, and feature music and a public address announcer. The league also has supplied teams with pre-recorded crowd noise.
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Tags: Sports , News , Venues , COVID-19 , Coronavirus