The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt by virtually every sporting league and the NBA is no exception.
Matches in the 2020-21 regular season were forced to be held without the presence of fans. This has not only had a huge impact on the overall revenue of the teams, but has also taken away a part of the spectacle.
However, it seems that the NBA might slowly be making a return to normalcy. Governors of New York and Massachusetts have recently made announcements or are set to make announcements that are sure to be received with open arms by the NBA faithful. The two states are doing away with part of the restrictions that have been put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
New York, Massachusetts expected to allow fans at NBA venues for the playoffs
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, part of the Democrat party, is expected to announce at an event later today that both the Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center will allow the entry of vaccinated fans. Both stadiums will be filled to around 50% of the overall capacity and will have fully-vaccinated fan sections.
The move seems to be a step in the direction of fully allowing fans to attend NBA matches in the coming season. While that is surely not possible for the time being, fans look set to be able to watch the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets take part in the playoffs at the respective arenas.
On the other hand, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker has already announced that all kinds of restrictions placed on businesses will be lifted after 29th May. It is unclear if the said announcement will impact the Boston Celtics, who will have to get through the Play-In tournament to get to the playoffs this time around.
If they do reach the playoffs, the Boston Celtics will be playing their fourth game of playoff round 1 on that weekend. While the move in no way guarantees that the NBA will allow fans to attend every game starting next season, it is surely a step in that direction.