Coronavirus: Golden State Warriors to face Brooklyn Nets behind closed doors

March 11, 2020
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    The Golden State Warriors shoot around in practice before a NBA match

    The Golden State Warriors moved into their new Chase Center stadium this season

    The Golden State Warriors will play their home game against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday behind closed doors because of the coronavirus outbreak.

    The game at Chase Center in San Francisco will be the first NBA fixture played without fans present this year.

    The city of San Francisco has banned mass gatherings of over 1,000 people for at least the next two weeks in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

    All events at Chase Center until 21 March have been cancelled or postponed.

    “We’ll continue to monitor this evolving situation closely to determine best steps,” said a Warriors statement.

    “We appreciate the understanding and patience of our fans, guests and partners.”

    After the Nets game, Golden State play five matches on the road before returning for a home tie against the Atlanta Hawks on 25 March.

    In baseball, the San Francisco Giants said they will now not play their pre-season game against the Oakland Athletics on 24 March at their Oracle Park home.

    “We are in the process of working with Major League Baseball and the A’s to finalise alternative arrangements,” said the Giants.

    “We will make that information available as soon as possible.”

    There have been 15 reported cases of coronavirus in San Francisco and 45 in nearby Santa Clara County.

    James backtracks on refusing to play

    Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James says he will listen to the guidance from authorities over whether games need to be held behind closed doors.

    The three-time NBA champion said last week he would refuse to play if his side were forced to stage matches without fans in attendance.

    “I had no idea that there was actually a conversation going on behind closed doors about the virus,” he said.

    “Obviously, I would be very disappointed not having the fans, because that’s who I play for.

    “But you’ve got to listen to the people keeping track on what’s going on, and if they feel like it’s best for the safety of the players, the safety of the franchise, the safety of the league to mandate that, then we all listen to them.”

    MLS postpones first match

    The Seattle Sounders home game against FC Dallas on 21 March has been postponed after Washington Governor Jay Inslee banned events of 250 people or more in the state.

    “Nothing is more important than public safety and the wellbeing of our fans,” a Sounders statement said.

    “With that in mind, we respect the difficult decision that has been made today, and our club will continue following the guidelines set forth by our public health authorities and government agencies.”

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