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Will 2020-21 NBA season have fans in the seats? Despite doubts from players, Nets seek ticket renewals, ask fans about potential protocols

Leaders of the NBA Players Association, as reported by CBS Sports 6/13/20, believe "no fans will be permitted into games for the entire 2020-21 season."

That, of course, could change if a vaccine or treatment or more authoritative venue protocols arrive. Note that the Brooklyn Nets--surely along with other teams--are proceeding as if they do expect fans.

Joe Tsai offering season ticket holders an incentive to renew for next season, NetsDaily reported 6/11/20:
According to an email sent out last week, the Nets will offer a full refund on the remaining nine games of the 2019-20 season or an opportunity to roll over the value of the lost games into next season. To make the second option more attractive, Tsai has agreed to provide a 20 percent bonus on the cost of the rollover.
That season--with the injured stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving finally playing together for the first time--wouldn't start until December at best. As NetsDaily noted, a poll of more than 1,000 Nets fans showed that only 26 percent would return without a vaccine.

A questionnaire

Meanwhile, the Nets sent those on its mailing list an extensive questionnaire about re-opening, asking, among other things:
  • their level of seriousness as a fan and attendance at games 
  • how they engage with the NBA during this hiatus from play
  • how they gather information about the pandemic
  • level of concern about the pandemic
  • where they go outside the home
  • how soon they reengage with social activities
  • how many people they feel safe gathering with, and 
  • what would make them feel safe at a game.
Among the protocols could be reduced menu options at food stands, cashless payment, and bathroom wait times displayed throughout the arena (and in the team mobile app),

As noted in the screenshots below, respondents were asked about their level of concern regarding various aspects of the game experience, including navigating the arena, buying food, and sitting in their assigned seat.



While respondents were asked if they believed social distancing was mandatory, nice to have, or unnecessary, the Nets as yet have not unveiled new protocols, such as only selling seats--at least for those not sitting together as a family group--with six-foot distances.

Surely arena-wide use of face masks, a plausible requirement as of now, would change the game experience. But it might not be less weird on TV than piped-in crowd noise.

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