Fan ban for rest of NBL GF Series
The National Basketball League Grand Final series between Sydney Kings and Perth Wildcats is the latest sporting event to be affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, with fans shutout from the remaining matches.
The move comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison and chief medical officer Brendan Murphy today advised that as of Monday non-essential gatherings in excess of 500 people should be banned.
This follows several other sporting organisations taking preventative measures, the NBA season put on hiatus on Thursday with three players testing positive to coronavirus, the Formula one Grand Prix in Melbourne was called off after two McLaren staff also tested positive and the postponing of English Premier League matches.
It is likely AFL and NRL games will also see fans locked out as of next week, with the first ODI today between Australia and New Zealand also a shut out.
In a statement on Friday afternoon released by NBL Owner and Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman, the competition saw the health of players and spectators paramount.
"After consultation with local, state and federal authorities as well as our clubs, we have made a decision that the remainder of the Hungry Jack's NBL Grand Final Series presented by MG between the Sydney Kings and Perth Wildcats will be closed to the general public,” the statement read.
"The health and well-being of our players, staff, officials and fans is paramount. As a family sport we felt this was the only decision to make.
"We commend the Kings, Wildcats and their ownership groups for supporting this move despite being a difficult commercial decision for all concerned. But they were just as resolute as us in regard to prioritising the welfare of players, staff and everyone else concerned ahead of commercial considerations."
The series remains a best of five affair, after rumours were rife that the series would be cut to three games to minimise travel and avoid the risk of contacting the disease.
Game two of the series is tonight at RAC Arena in Perth, game three on Sunday at Qudos Bank Arena.