The Oklahoma City Thunder announced Monday that the team will begin the 2020-21 NBA season without fans in attendance at home games due to rising Covid-19 numbers in Oklahoma.
The news comes after the Thunder announced earlier this month that “a limited number of fans and guests” would be allowed to attend games and other events at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“For months, we have worked in close collaboration with Chesapeake Energy Arena, the City of Oklahoma City, local health officials, and the NBA to put into place thorough health and safety measures to allow for reduced seating capacity,” the Thunder said in a statement. “However, as we review ongoing and concerning trends in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Oklahoma, we want to exercise an abundance of caution to help control the spread of the virus in our community. Therefore, the Thunder has made the decision to begin the season without fans in the arena.”
The team said it will continue to monitor the situation to determine when fans may be able to begin attending Thunder home games.
The Thunder’s announcement follows a similar decision from the Charlotte Hornets, who announced earlier on Monday that they would begin the NBA season without fans in attendance for homes games.