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The NBA and the NBA Players Association is in “exploratory conversations” with Disney about restarting the season at their Florida location, NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne on Saturday.
Per a report earlier this week, the league viewed Orlando and Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Florida as the “clear front runner” to resume the regular season that was postponed in March. Per Shelburne, teams could start bringing their players back on June 1.
Here’s the full quote from NBA spokesman Mike Bass on negotiations with Disney. pic.twitter.com/29YSod7f9i
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 23, 2020
Disney confirmed the news and noted its “great, long-standing relationship with the NBA.”
BREAKING: Disney just sent me their statement confirming the report:
"The Walt Disney Company has a great, long-standing relationship with the NBA. We are engaged in conversations with them about completing the 2019-2020 season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports…"
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) May 23, 2020
Per Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN, the NBA is scheduled to have a board of governors call Friday to iron out details of returning to play and a timetable to do it. It would include a two-week quarantine period in a new location and time to ease back into training.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports complex is 220 acres and has three arenas with plenty of hotel accommodations for the players and needed team personnel.
The league is reportedly considering a bubble-isolation plan that NBA commissioner Adam Silver has called a “campus environment.” He and league representatives have also considered other locations for a bubble, including Las Vegas.
Leagues around the world have started getting the OK from officials to return to play in June.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called sports an “essential service” in early April and allowed the WWE and UFC to host events in the state. It has since eased its coronavirus lockdown. As of Saturday, the state has 50,127 reported cases of the virus and 2,333 deaths.
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