Warriors

Kerr says NBA games without fans in arena 'lack the same joy'

Warriors
Chase Center without fans

While a handful of NBA teams have been permitted to allow a limited number of fans into games this season, the Warriors still are playing home games in an empty Chase Center due to California's restrictions amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

Team owner Joe Lacob proposed a $30 million plan in mid-November centered around rapid PCR tests to allow 50 percent capacity at Chase Center, but the San Francisco Department of Public Health rejected the plan a week later.

While some restrictions in the Bay Area and California have been lifted, large indoor gatherings still aren't allowed.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, who are facing the Warriors in San Francisco on Monday night, are currently allowing 2,720 fans to attend their home games.

Before Monday's game, Angel Gray, the Cavs' sideline reporter for Fox Sports Cleveland, asked Warriors coach Steve Kerr if having no fans in the arena's presented an advantage.

"No, it's definitely not an advantage," Kerr said. "I think it's a disadvantage to not have any fans. The games are very eerie. It's a stark reminder every single night of what's happening around the world. We miss our fans. We miss the energy, we miss the jolt of energy that our fans give to us every night. Some of our players have mentioned that to me, just that they miss that extra boost that our fans give us.

 

"So the games just lack the same joy and sense of anticipation. With that said, we know we're lucky to be playing and we're enjoying the season, enjoying the games. But it's very, very different."

The Warriors are still hopeful they can get fans back in Chase Center before the end of the 2020-21 NBA season.

In late January, Warriors president and COO Rick Welts joined NBC Sports Bay Area's "Warriors Pregame Live" to discuss the ongoing conversations the team is having with San Francisco and state officials.

"We think testing is a huge key, and we think we could play, even with a full building, at some point," Welts said. "We understand what's going on in the country right now. We understand the time that we're in at the moment. This isn't the moment, but we're back engaged in those conversations."

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It's unclear where those conversations stand, but more and more NBA teams are starting to allow fans into their arenas. It's possible at some point in the coming months the Warriors could join that list.

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