Sports | November 13, 2020 10:24 am

Warriors Planning to Reopen Arena in San Francisco at 50 Percent Capacity

The NBA franchise is prepared to spend upward of $30 million to test every fan

Warriors Planning to Reopen Arena in San Francisco at 50 Percent Capacity
The Town logo of the Golden State Warriors displayed at center court.
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The Golden State Warriors have presented a plan to state and local officials that would allow them to fill Chase Center in San Francisco to 50 percent capacity for home games during the upcoming NBA season.

Called “Operation DubNation,” the plan calls for 10,000 fans to be tested on game days using rapid PCR (polymerase chain reaction) that are 99 percent accurate, according to ESPN.

Team owner Joe Lacob, who holds a master’s degree in public health from UCLA, said the club is prepared to spend more than $30 million to test every fan, employee or player ahead of each Golden State game.

“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 ESPN. “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.”

Golden State’s plan is in line with the NBA’s desire to have fans in the stands this season, where it is allowed by the local government, despite the second-wave spikes of COVID-19 across the country.

In a four-page memo distributed Wednesday to team presidents, GMs and arena directors, the league outlined safety guidelines designed to “provide a consistent standard for welcoming fans into arenas in a safe manner that reduces the risk of spread of COVID-19, is consistent with public health goals, and promotes fan confidence in attending NBA games.”

Those guidelines include groups sitting at least six feet away from one another, fans filling out a “symptom and exposure survey’’ prior to being admitted to the arena and masks being worn by attendees unless eating or drinking.

Unlike the Golden State plan, the NBA’s guidelines would only require testing of fans seated within 30 feet of the court.