NBA Wants to Start in January, Will They Actually?
Milwaukee Bucks president Peter Feigin joined Greg Matzek yesterday on WTMJ to talk about next season for the Milwaukee Bucks and a litany of other things. One topic that many NBA fans want to know is when the season will actually start next year. No one knows. There are a lot of things being thrown around from launching the games starting on Martin Luther King Day to early March. Feigin said to Matzek in an interview you can listen here, that he would love to start the year in January or February for a full 82-game season. Can the league actually pull this off?
The attendance is the big wild card. The NBA is likely to see what the NFL and college football are doing. From all accounts, this is not impacting the rate of COVID-19 in these cities and states. Or at least that hasn’t been reported out yet. NBA is a different beast in that it will be happening in the winter and be completely inside. Some stadiums, like AT&T Stadium in Dallas, is indoors, but there are still panels to keep air flowing. Feigin told Matzek that attendance makes up ’45 percent’ of the league’s revenue. The league will likely apply the same rules we’ve seen in different spots all over the country. Mask-wearing, temperature checks, and spacing for distancing. The problem is most NBA cities have strict COVID-19 rules, so this winter will tell us a lot.
There are a few paths that I could see happening. First, the league starts in early to mid-January, and the attendance revenue is shared among teams in case some places cannot have fans originally. This would obviously be dependent on if there is a vaccine that could be distributed in full by March per what the U.S. Government has said. Second, I could see the league waiting until they know at least half of their arenas can have fans in them. If they know that with the rules above, it makes sense to start a season. If they cannot hit that number, they will likely wait until they’ve achieved it.
Is it possible that the league doesn’t play a season? It’s a question we have to start asking, right? It is not doom or gloom in my mind only because the fan element is so important. There is likely not a chance that the league can afford that, so, they’ll adjust but if you keep pushing back dates, it is going to screw up everything moving forward. At some point, water needs to find its level, unless, the league is planning an overhaul of their schedule anyways.
We’ll see what the outcome is