NBA Investigates Finishing 2020 Season
Many consider March 11th as the real turning point in sporting and live events when the NBA season came to an abrupt and sudden stop. Since the NBA suspended its season indefinitely that night, it created a domino as we see all concerts and sporting events come to a screeching halt. This past week while NFL was going full steam ahead with its schedule release and ticket on sales, the NBA was sending a different message. NBA commissioner Adam Silver had a lengthy conference call with one of the major takeaways is that without a vaccine the NBA might end up playing without fans until next year.
While the conference call did put a damper on the excitement that the NFL schedule release created, the importance of fans in the stands was made clear. One has to think the NBA will find a way to get fans back in arenas before a vaccine is ready due to a large amount of the league’s revenue that comes from fans at games. Silver has made it clear that if the NBA does return this summer it will be fan-less. Some possible solutions that have been discussed are playing games at a single site while in a bubble. Possible locations for the return that have been discussed are Walt Disney World in Florida and the Las Vegas Strip.
On the ticket side of things many fans were not happy with the way the NBA was handling refunds for season ticket holders. Although it took longer than expected, teams updated their season ticket holders on how they would handle refunds the week of May 4. Teams are handling the already paid for games for the remaining part of the season in different ways. Many are offering arena credits, merchandise credits, and even 10% credits towards a future ticket payment if fans roll overpayments to next year. Teams did offer fans the chance for a refund for the unpaid games this season, but it was clear that they were doing everything they could for fans not to take that option. Refunds are likely attractive to fans who need cash as well as the uncertainty of next year’s season with the NBA potentially pushing back the start of the 2020-2021 NBA season until Christmas. It will be interesting to follow both the NBA and the NFL in the next few months. The two leagues seem to have very different attitudes so far. The NFL appears to be hoping for a normal season while the NBA is taking a much more cautious approach.