As states and professional sports franchises nationwide ease coronavirus restrictions despite concerns about COVID-19 variants and how they may affect vaccines, ESPN’s Royce Young reported Tuesday that the Oklahoma City Thunder became the first NBA team to announce that it will not be hosting fans for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.

“Our personal, long-term relationships with our fans are something we deeply value, and as we look to our future with you, it is essential for us to make sure that when you return it is in a safer environment. than that one… we are now, ”the team explained in an email shared by Young.

Young added that 18 NBA clubs currently allow percentages of spectators to attend games or plan to do so before the end of the season. The venues’ capacities for such NBA and NHL events have been capped at around 10% -15%, varying by team and city, and the Thunder added that these social distancing requirements played a role. in the franchise decision.

“We want to make sure that your experience at our games is always safe, healthy and the best it can be,” OKC said in the email. “We look forward to seeing you again next season under these conditions.”

As indicated by WABC New York, The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, recently warned of a potential fourth wave of COVID-19 hitting the United States.