Basketball fans have attended NBA games amid the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) would never work. Allowing spectators to enter the competition campus would negate the whole purpose of building a “bubble” environment.
But the NBA has given fans the opportunity to still score great places as teams compete for playoff positioning.
NBA RESTART: schedule | Playoff bracket | Bubble, explained
During the reboot of the 2020 NBA season, virtual fans will be seen on the pitch, including behind the benches of their favorite squads. The NBA uses the new “Team Mode” from Microsoft Teams to place fans on 17-meter-high LED screens.
Interested in a virtual chair for the big game? You have come to the right place.
Registration process for virtual NBA fans
To qualify for a seat, fans can sign up through individual team sites. For example the Pacers and Pelicans each has simple forms on their sites. Other teams, such as the Celtics, contact subscribers and players’ friends and families. The process for each team can change as the season progresses.
Another option: Michelob Ultra. (No, don’t drink until you feel like you’re playing against LeBron James.) The NBA’s official beer sponsor offers a chance to crochet chairs with own sweepstakes and keep giveaways on his social media channels.
If you are chosen to be a virtual fan, you will receive a username and password via email for use on Microsoft Teams. You can then find the meeting invitation in your calendar and join the meeting to view the match.
Step-by-step instructions for the virtual fan experience can be found here.
What does it take to be a virtual fan?
All participants must have a computer or similar device on which to run Microsoft Teams. They are expected to sign up for the tip at least 30 minutes.
Fans should follow the rules in the NCA’s Recognition and Authorization Form, which include (but are not limited to):
- No more than one person in a virtual chair
- No offensive behavior or language
- No signs or inappropriate messages
- No distribution of game data or other content
Moderators monitor fan sections and can remove spectators if needed. In addition, fans are expected to appear on screen during the game, so if a fan disappears for an extended period of time, that seat can be reassigned.
Have there been any known virtual fan sightings?
Yes! Former Heat-forward Chris Bosh showed up to watch the Lakers take on the Clippers.
And, after some technical difficulties, former Nets shooter Kerry Kittles found his place for the game between Brooklyn and Orlando.
You never know who will appear on the virtual stands.