According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, the league has issued about 200 hundred cease-and-desist letters to party promoters in Atlanta, ahead of Sunday’s game at State Farm Arena. The letters were reportedly sent to those who are using the ASG logo and name to promote parties taking place in the city this weekend.
The letters are part of the league’s effort to discourage large gatherings ahead of the ASG, as health experts fear the event will result in a COVID-19 spike across Fulton County and beyond.
The NBA announced it will not host any official ASG events this year, and is limiting admissions to just a small number of players’ guests. The Times previously reported anyone who is staying at the NBA’s official hotel is required to check in by 7 p.m. local time Saturday night and remain there until the ASG festivities begin.
“The message within the NBA community is that we’re going to be operating in a mini bubble,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN this week. “There will be no NBA functions [for fans] to participate in. We appreciate their support and hope they’ll watch our All-Star Game on television … this is a television-only event in Atlanta.”
Local officials and authorities have also urged the public to stay home during All-Star Weekend in an attempt to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called on businesses to cancel parties related to the game, and has discouraged others from traveling to the city this weekend.
“People should not travel to Atlanta to party,” Bottoms said in a statement to ESPN. “Under normal circumstances, we would be extremely grateful for the opportunity to host the NBA All-Star game, but this is not a typical year. I have shared my concerns related to public health and safety with the NBA and Atlanta Hawks. We are in agreement that this is a made-for-TV event only, and people should not travel to Atlanta to party.”