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Reports: NBA preparing teams to play games in empty arenas during virus outbreak

According to a report by Shams Charania, the league sent a memo that the coronavirus outbreak could lead games played without fans and only "essential staff."

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The NBA is reportedly preparing teams to play games in empty arenas.

According to a report by Shams Charania, an NBA insider for The Athletic and Stadium, the league sent a memo to teams that the coronavirus outbreak could lead games played without fans and only "essential staff" in attendance to play the games.

New York Times NBA reporter Marc Stein also reported on the memo, saying the league office would decide if games should be postponed or canceled, but teams should start coming up with a contingency plan to play a game in a near-empty arena. 

"Among the measures that the NBA wants its teams to start preparing for is the possibility --- if the situation worsens --- for instituting "temperature checks" on various players, team staff members, referees and anyone else deemed "essential" to stage a game in such conditions," Stein tweeted.

According to News4SanAntonio, Italy decided this week that sporting events would take place with no fans in attendance for at least the next month.

Sixteen deaths from coronavirus had been reported in the U.S. as of Friday night. 

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