Golden State Warriors hope rapid-response testing will permit 50-percent capacity

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As the pandemic continues to get worse and not better, sports teams try to find ways to put more fans in the stands. The NBA’s Golden State Warriors has a plan for dramatically increasing the number of people who attend sporting events.

Via Ramona Shelburne of, the Warriors hope to have 50-percent capacity for the NBA season that begins next month. Owner Joe Lacob said that the team will spend nearly $30 million to give every fan a rapid-response COVID-19 test before they enter the Chase Center in San Francisco.

“I not only want to get this done and show the world how we can do it now, I’m willing to spend the money to do it,” Lacob said. “This is a serious, serious problem. It cannot go on for multiple years . . . because if this were to go on for several years, the NBA is no more. . . . You cannot sustain this league with no fans. You can do it for a year. We’ll all get by for a year. But suppose we’re in this situation next year. Now we’re talking some serious, serious financial damage to a lot of people.”

The plan, called “Operation DubNation,” hinges on highly-reliable PCR tests that can be analyzed within 15 minutes, without being sent to a lab.

“I want people to understand this is not the Warriors just trying to make more money,” Lacob said. “Yes, we’re trying to get fans and get revenue, but I’m trying to set a standard. I’m trying to show the world how this can be done, safely.”

The tests aren’t cheap, and the costs surely would be passed along in whole or in part to the customer. For many fans, it will be worth it. First, you get to attend a game. Second, you find out that you don’t have the virus, or that you do.

The Warriors have submitted their plan to state and local officials for approval. It could become the template for NFL attendance in 2021, unless the virus makes its long-awaited miraculous disappearance by then.

5 responses to “Golden State Warriors hope rapid-response testing will permit 50-percent capacity

  1. California hasn’t let Disneyland open in any capacity and people could be spread out there. I can’t see 50% capacity happening in a basketball arena with tighter confines

  2. Can’t wait to go to my first Dubs game where I’ll have the privilege of paying $4,000 for a beer!

    Joe does realize his team is in California, right? Does he really believe next month the state will let him fill his arena? If he were smart, he’s pack it up and move the team to Floiduh. No tests, pack the arena, and still charge $4,000 per beer!

  3. Excellent idea. A plan with some backbone and solutions to it. I cant wait to go to a concert and live ball games. Lets make this happen.

  4. The 15 minute test sounds great but then consider they’d be having to administer and check THOUSANDS of those tests at the same time. It’d take a huge staff to do that and would still probably take hours to complete the process of getting the tests, waiting the 15 minutes, checking the results, informing everybody of their status, then letting the negatives actually into the arena. And where would they have these several thousand people safely wait while the testing was going on? You’d need to have them distanced or the testing itself would become its own super-spreader event.

  5. The rapid tests have lots of false negatives. If they use that test, some infected people will get into the arena and will sit close to others for hours.

    Not a good idea.

    The vaccine sounds like it could be available by March or April. Wait for that.

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