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No fans at home to start Phoenix Suns season

Fans will have to wait to see Chris Paul and the newly renovated Suns arena in person as the team announced it won't host fans to begin the season.
Credit: AP
Phoenix Suns players pause during 24 seconds of silence in memory of Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant and others killed in a helicopter crash Sunday, prior to the Suns' NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Fans will have to wait to see Chris Paul and the newly renovated arena in person, as the Phoenix Suns announced they will begin the season without hosting fans due to COVID-19 transmission in Arizona.

The NBA season was halted in March due to the pandemic, then it resumed in the summer in a bubble in Orlando with 22 teams, including the Suns, and no fans.

The Arizona Cardinals began their NFL season without hosting fans, then began hosting 1,200 fans on Oct. 25 against the Seahawks. In their next two home games, the Cardinals hosted 4,200 fans. But, as cases numbers continue to rise in the state, the Cardinals did not host fans for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Suns open their season at home against the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 23. 

“Our fans are the lifeblood of the Suns organization, and we want nothing more than to welcome our fans into our newly transformed arena in Downtown Phoenix. The arduous choice to tip off our promising season without fans did not come easily,” Phoenix Suns President & CEO Jason Rowley said in a statement. “However, we are exercising an abundance of caution and doing our part to maintain the health and safety of all our stakeholders during this crisis.  That said, we will monitor the best available date and science and continue consulting with health care professionals and public officials to help us determine when it is prudent to bring fans back to the arena.”

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