The NBA in Talks With Disney to Play Games in Orlando
Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry says the NBA could be back playing in six to eight weeks. If that happens, the Oklahoma City Thunder will most likely finish the season in Las Vegas.
Lasry tells CNBC he sees the association going with a plan that would have Western Conference teams playing in Las Vegas and Eastern conference teams holding games in Orlando. Now comes word from Ramona Shelburne that the league is in talks with Disney to play the remainder of the season at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass says "The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices, and housing."... "Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place."
The Wide World of Sports complex is 220 acres with three arenas and enough hotel rooms that you could limit outside exposure. At the moment it's unclear if the rest of the regular season would be played or if the league would go right to playoffs.
The Thunder opened team facility doors to players this week. However, they will not say who is coming into the gym. The Thunder are respectful of the fact these are voluntary workouts that don't want players who chose to train at home painted in a negative light.
If you're wondering why the NBA is amping up its efforts to restart the season, there are a couple of reasons. According to The Athletic, the league could lose $900,000,000 in TV revenue if the playoffs don't happen.
There is also pressure on all professional sports leagues to start playing coming from Washington. Those in power are thinking if we see sports on TV, it could help jump-start the economy.
The bottom line for fans is the for the first time since March ninth, it feels like the NBA will play again, and that is a good thing.