The NBA expects all arenas to be at full capacity next season and is hopeful that it can safely welcome additional fans into arenas this season, according to reports.
The NBA feels good about the possibility of teams having the maximum number of fans in attendance next season thanks to the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
It is also expected that more than two-thirds of the NBA’s teams are allowing a limited number of fans to attend their games this season, and some of them have recently increased the number of fans allowed to be present.
Sources — NBA expects full arenas for 2021-22 season amid partnership with biometric screening company https://t.co/2PVB9oFWPQ
— Bourbiza Mohamed (@techgateorg) April 7, 2021
A key aspect toward that effort is the NBA’s new multiyear leaguewide partnership with Clear, a biometric screening company known for its expedited security process at hundreds of airports worldwide.
The partnership makes Clear’s COVID-19 health screening technology available to all 30 teams in their NBA arenas, and it’s expected to help facilitate more fans returning to games, though it’s up to each team how to use the technology.
More than two-thirds of NBA teams are allowing a limited number of fans to attend games in their arenas, though the number varies depending on evolving state-by-state regulations during the pandemic. The Phoenix Suns announced that they’re increasing capacity to 3,000 fans at home games. The Milwaukee Bucks announced that they were expanding attendance to 18% capacity, or roughly 3,280 fans.
The Magic were the first team to use the Clear services, signing up at the end of December, just before the start of the season. Conversations for a leaguewide partnership began in early September. This is Clear’s first leaguewide partnership with a professional sports league, but the company has been working with teams in MLS, MLB, NHL and the NFL. Clear first rolled out this program in a leaguewide format with the NHL’s bubble season across two cities in Canada last year.