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Blazers’ McGowan on Fans, ‘We’re focused on making the arena experience safer’

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Trail Blazers team president Chris McGowan touched on the long-term steps that the organization is taking in a conversation with The Washington Post’s Ben Golliver.

Portland Trail Blazers Introduce New President and CEO Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

The Trail Blazers’ start to the 2020-21 will not feature fans in the Moda Center due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A fan-less start, that is likely to run through the entire season, has the Blazers focused on making sure that the arena is safe and ready for fans to return when the time comes.

In a feature that details the multiple hurdles that the entire NBA is facing, Washington Post NBA reporter Ben Golliver spoke with Trail Blazers team president Chris McGowan about the processes that the organization is implementing to get ready for the eventual return of fans.

“You have to plan for no fans, limited capacity, and then look at it with a longer-term mind-set when you can build toward a full building,” said Portland Trail Blazers team president Chris McGowan, whose organization will open without fans. “We’re focused on making the arena experience safer [with enhanced] sanitation protocols, contactless payments, ticket processing and communicating the basics like washing hands. When fans can come back, they’re going to know we’re ready.”

Outside of long-term fan projections, the Blazers closed their facilities over the weekend due to a series of positive COVID-19 tests. Coach Terry Stotts’ squad is scheduled to begin the 2020-21 regular season on Dec. 23 against the Jazz.

You can read the full story from Golliver at The Washington Post.