The NBA is hoping to resume its suspended season, and Walt Disney World has now popped up as a possible location for that to happen. In mid-March, the NBA was one of the first professional sports leagues to suspend play due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league is still looking at ways to resume play once it is safe, and Central Florida could end up benefitting if the decision goes their way.
Rumors are circulating that the league is looking at numerous options to salvage the 2019-2020 season. The initial halt came on March 11, and the regular season would be over by now, with the playoffs in full swing, if things had continued as usual.
As the NBA tries to find a way to resume play once the risk has lowered enough, many options are on the table. The immense ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on the grounds of Walt Disney World is one option that is under strong consideration.
One possible playing ground for NBA if finishing season becomes safe for league and players: Walt Disney World Resort property in Orlando, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. League has kept different scenarios in mind.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 29, 2020
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the sports complex in Walt Disney World is a very viable location.
Disney chairman Robert Iger spoke with the NBA’s board of governors earlier this week, and many are on board with this idea. Some state lawmakers have thrown around the possibility of teams playing games in Orlando with little-to-no-fans in attendance.
Per an announcement from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, some small businesses can resume operations on May 4 with some restrictions still in place. He also gave professional wrestling and a golf match the go-ahead in May since people are desperate for some form of entertainment.
DeSantis said that it could be possible for arenas to have sports fans back in attendance by the fall. That would be done with safe guidelines still in place while still monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
If the NBA chooses Walt Disney World as the location to resume their season, they have many amenities at their disposal.
The ESPN sports complex has courts where high schools play games and the Jr. NBA Global Championship is held. Back in November, the AdvoCare Invitational college basketball tournament was held there, and it could easily situate itself for the league and its players.
The VISA Center has additional courts to hold multiple games at one time.
One of the most significant advantages of using Walt Disney World is that the NBA could contain itself in a “bubble.” The large amount of space would allow teams to have the minimum amount of personnel needed at each game for the sake of safety.