Talks Continue Regarding Walt Disney World as Potential “Bubble” for Salvaged 2020 NBA Season

The ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hasn’t just shut down theme parks, it’s effectively shut down the sports world as well, with the risk of athletes contracting the virus in such close quarters, and the notion of mass gatherings in stadiums being a definite no-go. However, talks continue regarding the possibility of salvaging the 2019-2020 NBA season at Walt Disney World, of all places.

The idea itself isn’t new as Cast Member-turned-Sports Commentator Keith Smith proposed the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Walt Disney World as an ideal “bubble-like” location earlier in the month. Now the idea is being dribbled around by more sports insiders, like Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium:

In a video post for Stadium, Charania states that additional sources are claiming Disney has “already offered up” the Walt Disney World property as a potential new temporary home for the league.

In a recent meeting with owners, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver plainly stated that he doesn’t know if or when the 2019-20 season will resume:

“In terms of ‘bubble-like concepts,’ many of them have been proposed to us and we only listened. We’re not seriously engaged yet in that type of environment.”

No decisions will be made on the 2019-2020 season this month, nor does that imply that the league will have an answer by May 1. Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger has been in talks with the NBA, giving advice on how the company has dealt with its theme parks, theaters, and ESPN since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Logistical components of setting up the NBA at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex would include the ability to create a contained “bubble” of playing venues and lodging within private Disney property, not to mention the already-existing positive relationship between the NBA and Disney. For more details on Keith Smith’s ESPN Wide World of Sports proposal, we highly recommend reading his full post here.

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