Full update on the the developing situation from Warriors president Rick Welts pic.twitter.com/csRPm7ttIC
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 11, 2020
The Warriors will play Thursday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets in what will be, for all intents, and purposes, an empty venue. The city of San Francisco this morning announced it was placing a two-week ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
Warriors CEO Rick Welts was part of those discussions with Mayor London Breed, which he described as “cordial” and “very constructive.” He, along with general manager Bob Myers, addressed reporters on Wednesday regarding the team’s new reality and how they are approaching tomorrow’s soon-to-be bizarre contest.
“At the conclusion of that meeting, felt that it was really important that we express our greatest level of cooperation possible and collaborating with them on coming up with a policy that affects not just the Warriors, but all events at Chase Center over at least the next two weeks,” Welts said. “We don’t know what happens. After that, the city will reevaluate their position. I was in touch with the NBA immediately after the meeting with the Mayor and the NBA agreed the best way forward for us was to play tomorrow night’s game without fans. So that is what we’re planning to do.”
Welts also spoke to the fact that there will be a league-wide conference call on Wednesday afternoon and that San Francisco is the “first domino to fall.”
“We potentially could have other NBA cities affected the way we are in the not too distant future,” Welts said. “So it’s a developing story. We don’t know how it’s going to end. And you will probably know as soon as we know a lot of the information that’s going to come forward from here.”
There of course are some very unique and odd questions for the Warriors to answer. Will the in-game music go on as it normally does? Will there still be a PA announcer? Myers and Welts said discussions have taken place, and some things have been nailed down.
“But as far as how we’re going to do it, we engaged our players. ‘Do you want music, do you want it before?’ Myers said. “I don’t think we’re going to pretend like fans are there. You know, I never been to a game without fans. So I don’t know if any of you have. I imagine it will be… This is going to be so different.”
Welts said the team with have a stats crew, PA announcer, in-game stats on the scoreboards, live radio and TV broadcasts, but there’s not much certainty past that point. It sounds like music will still be in play before the game.
“But beyond that, as Bob said, he consulted with the players, they kind of think it’s weird not to have at least some music during practice, they’d like some music when they’re warming up,” Welts said.
Myers said that players were hit “with this in real time” and may show up with more suggestions to normalize the affair during shootaround.
“But also, there’s a seriousness to this too,” Myers said. “So, we’re trying to balance being civil and respectful of what is happening. And also we’re playing a game, but we’re gonna play the game. And we we may not be in a position where we are competing for a playoff spot, but Brooklyn is and there’s many teams out there that are so there’s a competitive component that you have to respect that you have to respect the league.”
Welts said thus far, there have been no discussions of cancelling games, and the prospect of canceling Thursday’s game was never discussed with the city, essential team personnel, or the NBA.
One immediate factor of this decision is the financial losses that will be taken by the team. While the amount it will affect the team is unclear, both Welts and Myers acknowledged that it would have a direct affect.
“The answer is it will [have an impact],” Myers said. “To what degree, we don’t know.”
Welts said it would cost the team “tens of millions of dollars.”
More devastating than the financial burden on the the team and Chase Center are the more than 1,500 part-time employees who depend on events for their income. Welts highlighted that, but implied that without events, those people would be without paychecks.
Welts continued: pic.twitter.com/tacfPwY2lx
— Kerith Burke (@KerithBurke) March 11, 2020