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The Spurs are aiming for Jan. 1 to bring fans back for games

They will at least start the season with an empty arena.

The San Antonio Spurs just released the first half of their schedule for the 2020-21, and in the their official press release, SS&E CEO RC Buford mentions their home game against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 1, 2021 as a target date for bring fans back into attendance for games.

After careful consideration, the organization has targeted the Jan. 1, 2021 matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers to begin welcoming fans back to the arena in a limited capacity, pending the status of public health data and guidelines. The AT&T Center will not host fans for any home games in December, including the preseason opener vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, Dec. 12.

“We’ve been planning for this moment for months and are confident in the health and safety protocols we have in place,” said Spurs Sports & Entertainment CEO RC Buford. “Waiting until Jan. 1 will allow us to run through real in-game scenarios to ensure that we are doing everything possible to responsibly celebrate the start of a new season with our Spurs Family.”

Over the last four months the organization has made numerous updates designed to enhance health and safety protocols at the AT&T Center. To learn more, go to Spurs Sports & Entertainment will remain in daily contact with a wide range of local, regional and national officials and public health experts to ensure a safe environment when fans return to the AT&T Center.

“Our priority remains protecting the health and wellness of our community, our fans, our staff and our players,” Buford said. “All of us are excited for the day we can safely welcome our Spurs Family back to the AT&T Center. We are hopeful that Jan. 1 will be that day.”

This means they will play at least their first two home games of the season — against the Raptors on Dec. 26 and Lakers on Dec. 30 — in an empty arena. The state of Texas is currently allowing up to 50% capacity in sporting venues, although leagues (or conferences, in the case of college sports) can also have a say. The NBA appears to be leaving things up to the states and clubs to decide.