Orlando/Walt Disney World has emerged as a clear front-runner out of the potential sites the NBA is exploring in an attempt to resume its 2019-20 season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick.
Disney World is reportedly confident it will host some NBA action, but in what capacity remains up in the air, per NBA reporter Keith Smith.
Another option that has been rumoured as a strong contender to host NBA games is Las Vegas, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, the league is still considering a two-side format that would include both Vegas and Disney World.
The NBA suspended its season on March 11 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, told the players’ union on May 8 that he was hoping to make some sort of decision about the future of the 2019-20 campaign within no more than a four-week window. According to Charania, Silver also told the players he expects to have daily COVID-19 testing when the league resumes play, with no stoppage necessary in case an athlete tests positive, in which case the player would go into isolation.
The state of Florida has partially reopened, with establishments like malls and restaurants starting to operate at 50 per cent capacity on Wednesday. Governor Ron DeSantis has led a campaign to have sports resume in Florida, and Disney World reportedly reached a health and safety agreement with its employees that will fast track the parks’ reopening.
With files from The Associated Press.