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Sports Digest: NBA considering pre-Christmas start to 2020-21 season

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A season of 70 or 72 games – rather than the usual 82 – could begin on Dec. 22 under one plan being discussed.
The NBA may be back before Christmas and fans could return to games at some point next season, if one plan considered by the league’s board of governors becomes reality. The board is targeting a Dec.22 start to what would be a season of 70 to 72 games, with the NBA finals ending in June, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no plan has been finalized, said the possibility of fans being at games would hinge on how a particular market is faring against the coronavirus at that time. There are other options, such as waiting until later in the season to begin play with the hope that more arenas would be able to have fans. But starting in December instead of mid-January or later could generate a difference of roughly $500 million in revenue, the person said. The move is being made because of attendance limits placed on outdoor events in Pennsylvania as a result of the pandemic. Army gets to host the Dec.12 game because the Black Knights are designated as the home team.

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