Shortly after his depleted team lifted off towards Charlotte for a game on Wednesday, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spoke with “The Hardline” on The Ticket in Dallas about a variety of topics on Tuesday afternoon.
The 62-year-old billionaire called into the show while in Dallas and expressed his concern for the rising COVID cases and hospitalization numbers in North Texas. A new record high number of cases was announced in Dallas County on Tuesday afternoon and the NHL announced that 17 of the league’s 27 league-wide positive tests came from the Dallas Stars in its latest round of testing. Things aren’t exactly getting any better ten months into the country dealing with the virus on the main stage.
“My level of concern is high, not just because of the Mavericks or the Stars, but because [in] Dallas and the country in general, cases are going up… We’re hoping the whole country turns the corner very shortly.”
Of course Cuban’s Mavericks have been under the unfortunate COVID spotlight with now four players with confirmed positives and one more forced to quarantine due to close contact with a positive case. Dallas’ game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night was postponed with no makeup date announced. Cuban obviously wasn’t happy with that, but he’s trying to see the bright side about what the game might be like when/if it’s eventually made up later in the season.
“Honestly, I don’t get overly concerned about the postponed games. Not only because we can make them up, but because hopefully we’ll have a positive post-vaccine world where we’ll be able to have a lot of fans at the arena and maybe that game we had postponed yesterday, we’ll be able to make it up in front of fans in March or April.”
A lot of fans at the arena? It’s really hard to imagine such a thing right now considering just a couple of teams are actually selling tickets to a few thousand fans for their home games. While thousands are getting vaccinated every day, it still feels like months until the majority of the general population will have access to a vaccine if they’re interested. Cuban is much more confident when pressed for what he thinks the chances are of there being plenty of fans in the stands at Mavs games by the end of the season.
“Very, very, very high. Not just as in 3,000, but as in 15 – 20,000. Even if we just made it available to frontline workers and healthcare workers for free to fill the stands because they’ve all been vaccinated, I’m cool with that… We know it’s going to be relatively safe, if not very safe, so let’s just fill up the stands and do the right thing. I have no problem with that whatsoever.”
This wouldn’t be the first awesome gesture that Cuban and the Mavericks have made towards the healthcare workers in DFW after the organization donated $500,000 to help with the childcare of doctors and nurses at UT Southwestern and Parkland hospitals back in March.
The idea of fans in the stands is exciting and something we all miss, but health and safety certainly needs to be at the top of everyone’s priority list. Cuban’s idea of welcoming in vaccinated healthcare workers who have been worked like dogs for nearly the past year to enjoy a night of Mavericks basketball is certainly another great idea from everyone’s favorite “shark.”
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