NBA News: League Could Delay Start Of New Season To December In Order To Bring In Fans

A NBA basketball on the court during play between the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
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Even though they haven’t yet finished their current year of play, the NBA is already looking at possibly delaying next season’s start.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a halt to virtually all professional and amateur sports around the world. Nearly two months ago, the NBA was the first professional league to suspend its season after canceling a couple of games on March 11.

With no real way of knowing if the current season will resume, eyes are already looking ahead to 2020. ESPN is reporting that commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA board of governors are discussing delaying the start of the 2020-21 season to December.

The NBA’s regular season typically begins in October.

The main idea behind a possible delay would be to have more time to get fans in the seats. Governors around the country are looking at allowing professional sports to resume soon, but they would still have to play games with little to no fans in attendance.

The NBA feels they could have fans back in arenas and not lose additional revenue if they wait to start the next season. However, not everyone on the board of governors feels as if fans would return by the end of the year.

“If you start in December, that doesn’t mean the people are coming back in December, but maybe, they’re back by March,” one board member told ESPN.

A delayed start to the 2020-21 season would also be necessary if the current season does resume and doesn’t end until early fall. The next season would have to be pushed back and potentially shortened to accommodate the late end to the current season.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the media during a press conference at the United Center on February 15, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.
  Stacy Revere / Getty Images

It seems discussions will be ongoing, as no decision has officially been made yet concerning the start of the 2020 season. On Friday, the NBA board of governors did vote to postpone the draft lottery and draft combine, which were both slated to take place during the month of May in Chicago.

The 2020 NBA Draft is still on track to take place on June 25, but postponement is not out of the question. A final decision on the draft will be made after some more time has passed. Another vote from the board would also be needed.

On Saturday, the NFL announced they would release a full 17-game schedule next week. Commissioner Roger Goodell says there is no intention of delaying or altering any plans for the 2020 regular season. No changes will take place unless the coronavirus pandemic worsens in the coming months.