Warriors detail COVID-19 plan to bring fans back for upcoming season

Nearly six weeks until the start of the next NBA season, and the Warriors secret to success is no longer secret.
“We’ve been working with UCSF since last spring, to come up with a program that will guarantee the safety of everyone in Chase Center,” said Golden State President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts.
Team officials are proposing that every player, coach, executive, fan, and arena worker undergo rapid-COVID-19 testing before entering Chase Center. Health experts said so-called PCR tests can be done in minutes, not hours or days and they're more accurate. 
“It’s more of a qualitative read on how much RNA is present. And so it’s just different technology, completely. But it gets to the same point,” said UCSF epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford.
Sports experts say the point for the Warriors and those who could mimic potential success is money. The NBA could see its financial bubble burst to the toon of $400 million if fans aren’t allowed in for the coming season.
“I absolutely think revenue is the biggest issue that they’re trying to fight right now. Similar to the NFL, and having partial attendance. They’re losing a significant amount of revenue,” said Shaun Fletcher, a professor of public relations and sports communications at San Jose State University.
The losses could go beyond financial. Some experts said while rapid testing has an extremely high accuracy rate, it isn’t foolproof. False positives could lead to more coronavirus infections.
“It’s possible that people who don’t have symptoms are not gonna have that same, high, accuracy rate. So we don’t know that yet,” said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a Stanford epidemiologist. “They may not pick up everybody who’s positive. They may not pick up the very low viral loads that some people might have.”
Fletcher advocates for a more cautious approach to reintroducing NBA fans at games.
“I think it’s a very slippery slope and I would love to see Adam Silver and the NBA take a step back, she said. Added Welts, “This plan has to be authorized by local and state health authorities.”
That could be the major trap that slows down forward movement. As virus cases spike, more municipalities are restricting access to indoor events. This, as the year of COVID-19 could block the NBA’s next shot at financial viability.