The Warriors revealed a plan Thursday that would allow for 50 percent capacity at Chase Center for home games in the 2020-21 NBA season amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
CEO Joe Lacob told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that the organization is willing to spend as much as $30 million for daily PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing for every fan, team employee and player.
"I not only want to get this done and show the world how we can do it now, I'm willing to spend the money to do it," Lacob told Shelburne. "This is a serious, serious problem. It cannot go on for multiple years ... because if this were to go on for several years, the NBA is no more.
"You cannot sustain this league with no fans. You can do it for a year. We'll all get by for a year. But suppose we're in this situation next year. Now we're talking some serious, serious financial damage to a lot of people."
The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the announcement Thursday, with UCSF epidemiology professor Dr. George Rutherford, who has been advising the Warriors since June, telling Ron Kroichick and Trisha Thadani that he has cautious optimism about the proposal.
“It seems counterintuitive, but I think the plan is solid,” Rutherford told The Chronicle. “If we were just doing social distancing and masking in a crappy old gym, like the Cow Palace, this would be a recipe for disaster. But it’s a state-of-the-art building with state-of-the-art ventilation, which they can control. Food services can be kept separate.
“What changes all of this is the whole idea of testing everybody. That part is revolutionary.”
On Tuesday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced a halt on indoor dining in the city, as well as limiting capacity on indoor spaces like gyms and movie theaters. The reopening of high schools also will be paused due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
The announcement from the Warriors comes on the same day that California became the second U.S. state to surpass one million positive coronavirus cases, joining Texas.
Lacob and the Warriors want the chance to demonstrate that their plan, which he says the team has been working intensely on for months, can work and allow for a safe capacity inside Chase Center this season.
"Let us prove the concept. Let us use our money, our resources, our seven-eight months of work, our expertise to prove the concept," Lacob told ESPN. "That's what I'm trying to get the state, the city and the government to entertain."