Los Angeles mayor says fans returning to Staples Center by playoffs is ‘absolutely a realistic timeline’

Robert Marvi
2 Min Read

Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers hoping to see their team in person come postseason time have a reason for optimism.

Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, said on Monday that having fans in the stands at Staples Center once the NBA playoffs begin could very well be in the cards and is a “realistic timeline.”

Garcetti also stated that he is in favor of using “vaccine passports” to allow vaccinated fans to attend sporting events indoors in a safe manner.

The Democratic mayor is very hopeful to make it happen given the current trends.

“We don’t have dates yet for NBA,” Garcetti said. “I would hope by playoffs, when one or both of our LA teams is in the playoffs–both of them should get there–we should have some limited capacity and get fans back.”

Garcetti added, “To me, that is absolutely a realistic timeline, with the projection of the vaccines.”

The number of daily confirmed novel coronavirus cases has been on the decline for many weeks, not just in Southern California but across the nation as well.

In addition, the distribution and uptake of novel coronavirus vaccines have been speeding up, as more than 100 million Americans have now gotten at least one dose of such a vaccine.

President Joe Biden said last week in a primetime press conference that he’s aiming to allow all individuals to be eligible for a vaccine by May 1.

Some NBA players, including the Lakers’ LeBron James, have talked about how tough it is to perform well in front of an empty arena.

In just a few months, perhaps fans can safely watch either the Lakers or Clippers make a run at the NBA championship in person and give their team some raucous support.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif., and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s and fell in love with the Nick Van Exel-led Lakers teams. He truly cherishes the Kobe Bryant-era of Lakers basketball and the five world championships that came with it, and is looking forward to the team's next NBA title.