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NBA sends memo to teams on coronavirus: Start preparing to play without fans

Jesse Reed

The NBA is taking steps toward the possibility of playing games in empty stadiums due to the growing threat of COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus.

Shams Charania of The Athletic shared Friday night that the league sent a memo to all 30 franchises advising them to prepare for the possibility of playing games without fans in attendance — should it be necessary.

Though not necessarily related, this development comes on the heels of a CenturyLink Field vendor who worked an XFL game testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have already said there is a possibility they could play games without fans this year, if not cancel them altogether, due to the coronavirus. The NCAA has also been urged by the National College Players Association to consider holding March Madness games without fans in attendance.

Other nations have cancelled sporting events or contested them without fans present as the virus spreads globally. To date, there are over 102,000 verified cases of coronavirus worldwide, and nearly 3,500 people have died.