At this point, it’s no longer major national news when a college football program or NFL team announces plans for fans in the stands, but I believe the Oklahoma City Thunder are the first NBA team to do so. So that’s notable.
The Thunder announced a list of protocols and regulations on Tuesday. None should be that surprising: Everyone must wear a mask, except when eating and drinking. Groups of fans will be separated from each other by six feet. Hand sanitizer will flow like water. There will be lots of contactless payment options for concessions and merch.
The gate is really important for small market NBA and MLB teams like the Thunder, who get less TV revenue than their large market counterparts. The Thunder’s announcement did not specify the percentage of fan capacity that will be permitted in the building, so it will be interesting to see in December what that ultimately looks like.