It applies to all fans in attendance that sit 15 feet or more away from the court. The current requirements will remain in place for those who sit closer, per league policy. Fans aged two years and up must still wear masks unless actively eating or drinking.
The decision comes after coronavirus cases have been in decline since late September. Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban set the line at 500 new cases in the 7-day rolling average. The county’s average has been below that number since October 20.
“If the numbers get worse again, we will bring back the policy,” Cuban said on Twitter.
The Mavericks play their first home game on Tuesday against the Houston Rockets, for which the current policy will still apply. The Rockets did not implement a vaccine or testing mandate for entry beyond the league 15-foot rule like their Dallas counterparts have. The other NBA team in Texas, the San Antonio Spurs, has the same policy as the Rockets.
The Dallas Stars, the professional hockey team with whom the Mavericks share an arena, requires masks to enter the building but does not have further screening policies in place.
The Mavericks cite Dallas County’s mask mandate order issued by Judge Clay Jenkins on August 11. Dallas County’s order says it applies to “childcare centers, Pre-K-12 public schools, businesses, and Dallas County buildings and facilities.”
Back in May, Governor Greg Abbott issued an order prohibiting local mask mandates. On August 15, the Texas Supreme Court issued a temporary stay on local orders, but it has not delivered its final ruling.
Because vaccination policies vary across the country, players who’ve declined vaccination will not be able to play in some arenas. The cities under such protocols are New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles — meaning the teams under those limitations are the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and New York Knicks.
The fan policy also varies based on state and city orders.
Cuban has been among the more outspoken NBA owners on COVID-19 policy, even joining the fray over private business vaccine mandates which Abbott prohibited by executive order last month. The Mavericks owners says he requires his employees to be vaccinated.
The NBA season began on October 19 and the regular season concludes on April 10.
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.