The NBA expects to have arenas packed full of fans when the 2021-22 season begins, with the chances of it happening increased by a deal with a COVID-19 screening company, ESPN reported.
With vaccine distribution in full swing, the NBA will look toward the airport screening company Clear to provide COVID-19 screening technology at home venues around the league.
Each team will be allowed to determine how the screening technology will best serve its fan base. The league will not require teams to use it, however.
Teams like the Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs and Atlanta Hawks already are using Clear’s technology to allow a limited number of fans back into games. As many as two-thirds of teams already have welcomed fans back to games on a limited basis.
When Clear’s system is in place leaguewide, fans would first be asked to load information pertaining to COVID-19, like test results or vaccination information, into a Clear app. Then a self-photo would be entered.
Upon arriving at the arena, fans would then give access to information in the app, take another selfie to verify their identity and answer health survey questions. A red or green notification light will let fans know if they are eligible to enter the arena.
Private health information is not revealed. Only necessary COVID-19 related info will be used to operate the system.
Another plan in the works is for teams to have sections for fully vaccinated fans who still must adhere to state and local safety requirements, that may or may not include masks and some social distancing requirements.