FLORIDA- Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA still believes they can salvage the season as the league currently talks with the Walt Disney Company on a possible single-site scenario in Central Florida in late July.
Aside from the league organization itself, the Players Association of the NBA also took part on the talks with Disney as they are currently eyeing to have the games in ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex which can accommodate huge population because of its size while staying inside the premises of the Disney property.
According to Mike Bass, NBA's spokesman, he shared that the conversations were still exploratory as the site show flexibility, wherein it could be also converted into housing and practicing site for the players as well.
Bass also shared that despite their eagerness to resume the season, their top priority continues to the safety and the health of all parties involved, as they are still working with government officials and experts on public health on a detailed set of guidelines to ensure the application of suitable medical protocol and transmission prevention measures
It is not the first time that the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex catered an event like this, as it also served as a roof for the participants of the Jr. NBA World Championship in recent years wherein the 255-acre campus handled simultaneous games as well.
Moreover, Disney is quite familiar with the process of handling sports events as they also own ESPN, which is the NBA's broadcast partner.
Despite the conversations between Disney and Major League Soccer Organization regarding the resumption of their season as well, space will not be a problem as the site has close to 24,000 hotel rooms, which is owned and operated by Disney within the campus.
NBA became the first US major league to suspend its season on March 11 after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive with coronavirus.
A few weeks later, the number of players who tested positive with COVID-19 jumped to 10, however just last month, NBA commissioner shared that the actual numbers were even higher.
For the past few weeks, the league pitched numerous return-to-play scenarios, but the bottom line of each plan is to have all of the players tested before resuming the season.
Since May 8, Teams were permitted to have their players back to their respective training facilities but for voluntary sessions only, but despite the risks, most of the teams took advantage of the opportunity.
Currently, not more than four players are allowed to have their voluntary workouts inside any of the facilities at the same time, but most likely there will be loosening on the restrictions as they will soon totally open the training camps.
Before the talks between the league and Walt Disney Company, the NBA already received a rescue plan coming from MGM company assisting the league by offering their interconnected hotels in Las Vegas wherein it will also serve as a place to stay and a place to play for the players the entire NBA season, playoffs and Finals.
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