Before the NBA season stared, Warriors’ team owner Joe Jacob, who happens to have a master’s degree in epidemiology, had a $30 million plan to rapid-test fans so they could attend games amid the ongoing pandemic.
The request was denied by California officials and the city of San Francisco, but was put aside to be revisited later.
According to Marcus Thompson III of The Athletic, Lacob says he’s been in contact with Gov Gavin Newsom and will meet with San Francisco Mayor London Breed and other city officials in February regarding the revisitation.
Here’s Lacob’s comments, per Thompson.
“We needed to see the prevalence [of the virus] come down first,” Lacob said. “And it’s starting to do that.
“We’re gonna re-present what we did and see where we can go. I do believe we have a chance to convince them that it’s safe. I know it’s safe, but to convince them to have some fans here in the second half of the schedule. And by the playoffs, maybe more. But I can’t guarantee it because there’s a lot of different politics and a lot of different views on this. And so we’re gonna do our best. I think we have the safest arena in the world to go to. And I absolutely believe that if we have 10,000 people in there tomorrow, it would be absolutely 100-percent safe. One hundred percent. It’s a fact, because we have done the quantitative assessment with UCSF and Dr. (George) Rutherford. And we have 100 quantitative models that show all this. And I think we just need to show that to the city. But for them to be accepting of the possibility, we need to see a little bit better situation out there in terms of hospitalizations and spreading the virus.”The Athletic
The middle portion of Lacob’s statement is extremely confident. It’s pretty bold to say he believes he can host 10,000 fans indoors during a pandemic, but he says he has the data to back his claims.
But what his statement starts and ends with is telling and realistic. As long as the pandemic is raging, as it currently still unfortunately is, Lacob might have little luck with his plan.
But Joey Lightyears will make his case. However it happens, we all hope fans can attend games as soon as possible and the entire economy can carry on as normal.
(Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)