Report: NBA prefers fans in arenas next season, not bubble


The NBA resumed the 2019-20 season in a "bubble" in Orlando. But don't expect to see that format for the 2020-21 campaign.

"For next season, the NBA prefers in-market competition with reduced travel and an amount of fans," sources told The Athletic's Shams Charania. "The league is aiming for an 82-game regular season in 2020-21."

Commissioner Adam Silver reportedly told NBA players back in May that 40 percent of the league's total revenue is generated from games with fans in attendance. So clearly, finding a way to get people back inside arenas is the No. 1 goal.

"We're putting every foot forward to make sure we can have fans and it can be safe," Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in July. "We're probably in a great market with all the technology we have and all the medical affiliates in the city."

The salary cap and luxury tax thresholds are impacted by total revenue, and not having any fans will result in significant financial damage for the NBA and anybody connected to the league.

The Warriors still don't know how much money they can spend this offseason when it comes to upgrading the roster, because the economic variables still are unknown.

"Our biggest challenge is going to be the virus and getting fans back in the stands," owner Joe Lacob told ABC7's Larry Beil in mid-August. "That's what we are built to do -- have a great audience and entertain our fans, as well as win a championship. So we really want to do that.


"We're working really hard in that regard, to try to figure out a way that we can resume play with fans. I've worked with the league extensively on the testing strategies with respect to what's going on in the bubble.

"And we're actually doing the same thing in terms of trying to lead the way (for) how we're going to maybe test fans as an example -- if need be -- when we resume play."

Charania on Thursday reported that next season will not start before Christmas Day.

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