The NBA concluded its conference call with their owners and governors with two options on the table for how to proceed with the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, teams are prepared to play games without fans in arenas. They are also prepared to take the more drastic step of putting the season on hiatus until a time when it is safe to play.
Wojnarowski said that a decision could be reached as soon as Thursday, March 12.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, NBA teams have prepared various contingency plans. A part of those plans is already in effect with media barred from locker rooms and conducting all interviews from a distance of 6-8 feet.
Teams were also instructed to prepare plans to play in closed arenas. Those plans included only essential personnel allowed in the arenas for games.
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, the city of San Francisco banned all gatherings of 1,000 or more people. This included all Golden State Warriors games. That will force the Warriors and Nets to play a game on Thursday night in an empty arena.
NBA teams are also preparing for the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars due to this pandemic. Such a loss would have a negative impact on Basketball Related Income (BRI). Any loss of BRI would lower the salary cap for the 2020-21 season.
This comes after the cap projection for next season was already lowered by $1M due to deterioration of the NBA’s relationship with their partners in China.