The Portland Trail Blazers will be allowed to welcome fans into the Moda Center at 10% of capacity, beginning on Friday night when they play the Los Angeles Lakers, according to a tweet by John Canzano of The Oregonian. Citing unnamed sources, Canzano claims that the move has already been approved and that he expects an official announcement to that effect on Wednesday morning.
Source in Salem tells me the @trailblazers have been approved for 10 percent fans at Moda Center beginning on Friday.— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) May 5, 2021
I expect an official announcement tomorrow AM.
The Blazers, along with all the other NBA franchises, have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic for the entirety of the 2020-21 season so far. The league made allowances for teams to play games in their home arenas, but without fans in attendance. As vaccines have become widely available, state governments have relaxed restrictions on public gatherings, allowing many franchises to welcome back fans on a limited basis, usually a percentage of total attendance.
Oregon has been among the slowest states to ease restrictions, resulting in the Blazers being among the last teams to re-open their arena. A flurry of tweets came today from Portland stars Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic. lamenting the fact. Canzano’s tweet follows on the heels of the outcry.
The Moda Center seats approximately 20,000 fans at regular capacity. A 10% return rate would presumably allow 2,000 fans to witness the game from the stands.
Canzano adds that select candidates will stand first in line to purchase tickets, including season ticket holders and team sponsors. He also suggests that the limit may be raised to 20% for the post-season.
I am told Trail Blazers tickets are expected to be offered to:— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) May 5, 2021
— Season tix holders based on tenure
— Families of players
— general public
No perfect way to do this when you’re talking about ~1900 tickets (10%).
I expect playoffs may end up with 20% capacity.