DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Mavericks have announced they will begin the 2020-2021 preseason without fans at American Airlines Center, but no decision has been made yet about the regular season.

The team said Friday the decision regarding the Mavericks’ home preseason game on Thursday, Dec. 17, was made in consideration with the NBA and Dallas County public health officials..

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“We are optimistic that we will be able to welcome fans back to AAC this season but want to make sure we do so in the safest way possible,” said Mavs CEO Cynt Marshall. “Unfortunately, having looked closely at the current data, trends and historical spikes, we cannot risk our fans’ safety, which is in the best interest of our community.”

Dallas County has seen a continued increase of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations through the fall. On Friday, the county reported 1,849 new cases and 20 more deaths, totaling at 141,303 cases and 1,315 deaths.

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The Mavericks begin their preseason Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Milwaukee Bucks.

Dallas’ home opener for the regular season is on Dec. 30 against the Charlotte Hornets, but there has been no decision yet on fans at that game. In a statement, the Mavs said the team will work with Dallas County officials “to determine the best possible scenario closer to the start of the regular season.”

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Before the regular season home opener, the Mavs will begin on the road for three games against the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 23, the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 25 and the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 27.

CBSDFW.com Staff