The defending NBA champs will be playing home games in front of empty seats to start off the 2020-21 season ... with the Los Angeles Lakers keeping fans home "until further notice."
The team made the announcement Wednesday ... saying it consulted with state and local health officials to come up with its plan for games as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
"The health and safety of our fans, players, staff and community are our main priority and we will continue to work with state and local officials to come up with a plan to safely welcome fans back to STAPLES Center in adherence with local, State, and NBA guidelines," the Lakers said in a statement.
"We appreciate your continued support and look forward to coming together, when it is safe to do so, to celebrate the raising of our banner and the quest for another NBA championship.
FYI, L.A. -- like many places across the country -- is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The 2020-21 schedule will be released soon ... and the season starts Dec. 22.