The National Basketball Association (NBA) has been on break since March 11. However, Orlando’s Disney World may provide a stage for its return.
The Athletic has reported that the tourist attraction is the latest venue to be put forward to host the NBA. This plan will see all NBA teams housed in one area to complete the season during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive director of the NBA Players Association, Michele Roberts stated that the NBA and its players need to find a way to play during the pandemic.
“This is a world with the virus, and we have to figure out a way to work, play and live in a world with the virus,” Roberts said
NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated, “Until there’s a vaccine, or some cocktail preventing people from dying from the virus, we are going to be dealing with this collectively,” Silver said. “The ultimate issue is how much risk we’re all comfortable taking,” he added
Reports have emerged that Silver will release a detailed plan for a restart on June 1. In the hopes that the league can resume in an isolated location by July 1. This will provide players or coaches that are not currently in the United States time to return. In addition, it will allow for the 14-day self-isolation required after international travel.
“There’s no point in adding risk for flying all of you [from] city to city if there’s not going to be fans, we think it would be safer to be in a single location, or two locations, to start,” Silver said to players.
The Walt Disney Company owns ABC and ESPN. ESPN is the NBA’s primary media partner. Therefore, it makes sense that this location is leading the race to host the remainder of the season.
In addition, CNBC reported that “media partners like ESPN and Turner Sports that pay the league roughly $2 billion a year for broadcasting rights.” The organisations would be set for a loss if the league is not finished.
On Friday, May 8, the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers opened their training facilities for their athletes to train. However, the league is still at least a month away from resuming the season.
Nevertheless, the one factor that is clear is that NBA fans will not be returning to games anytime soon.