While NBA fans are not allowed in the arena to see their favorite team battle it out in the bubble for playoff position during the restart, the league has presented an alternative option for those who want to root their teams on.
The NBA has created a chance where diehards can be virtual fans and watch the game from their home while having a camera on them recording their reactions and placed into where the seats where fans would usually sit.
This is done through Microsoft Teams’ new “Together Mode,” that places the fans on the “floor seats” through 17-foot-tall LED screens situated right behind the benches.
You may have seen the fans while catching a game or two since the restart and wonder how you can get up there, the process is simple… well for some teams it is at least.
Teams like the Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans simply have a form you can fill out, and they will choose from the submissions. Some of the more popular teams like the Lakers and Celtics are much more exclusive. They are primarily reaching out to friends and family of the players, alongside their season ticket holders– like Paul Pierce did when the Celtics beat the Portland Trailblazers.
Michelob Ultra is also holding sweepstakes for you to be featured on the video board of virtual fans.
Obviously, anyone wishing to participate must have a computer, phone, or tablet capable of running the Microsoft Teams Software.
Once they are selected and logged in, there are several rules they must follow.
- No more than one person in a virtual seat
- No offensive behavior or language
- No signs or inappropriate messaging
- No distribution of game data or other content
The fans are also required to grab their seat at least 30 minutes before tip-off.
Of course, there will be people monitoring the virtual fans, almost like ushers. Any fan acting inappropriately or violating any of the rules will be removed, fans can also be removed if they are gone for any prolonged period of time.
Good luck if you’re trying to grab a virtual seat at the game! As for Knicks fans– there’s always next season.