NBA going to Disney World?

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

League negotiating to play games at one site near Orlando.

Posted: May 23, 2020 4:47 PM

ASSOCIATED PRESS - The NBA is in talks with The Walt Disney Company on a single-site scenario for a resumption of play in Central Florida in late July, the clearest sign yet that the league believes the season can continue amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Basketball Players Association is also part of the talks with Disney, the league said Saturday. Games would be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a massive campus on the Disney property near Orlando.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the conversations were still “exploratory,” and that the Disney site would be used for practices and housing as well.

“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,” Bass said.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is a 255-acre campus with multiple arenas that could host games simultaneously and has been home to, among other things, the Jr. NBA World Championship in recent years. ESPN, one of the NBA’s broadcast partners, is primarily owned by Disney.

Space won’t be an issue, even if Major League Soccer — which is also in talks to resume its season at Disney — is there at the same time as the NBA. The entire Disney complex is roughly 40 square miles, with nearly 24,000 hotel rooms owned or operated by Disney within the campus.

The NBA suspended its season March 11, becoming the first of the U.S. major pro leagues to do so after it was revealed that All-Star center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19. The list of NBA players who were known to test positive eventually grew to 10 — not all were identified — and Commissioner Adam Silver said last month that the actual total was even higher.

But the league has been working on countless return-to-play scenarios for several weeks, all with the caveat that testing would be an integral part of any resumption of the season.

It remains unknown where the NBA is in the process of securing tests or developing large-scale testing protocols. Also unclear: how many regular-season games would be played before the postseason begins — or if all 30 teams would be playing. The league has asked team general managers for additional input on those matters.

Jared Dudley of the Los Angeles Lakers said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday that he believes the playoffs, whenever they start, will be the traditional best-of-seven format.

“That’s the money-winner when it comes to Disney," Dudley said. “That’s why we’ll be in Orlando. Disney owns ESPN. That’s where they make their money. During the playoffs and finals, it will all be seven games. That one I’m almost 100% sure of."

Central Florida has been known as a viable option to host an NBA restart since at least mid-April, and other cities — such as Las Vegas, which also has a longstanding relationship with the NBA — were known to be considered as well.

Florida has confirmed just over 50,000 COVID-19 cases, though more than half of those are in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and not in the Orlando area. Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he wants the state open for pro sports, even telling franchises not based in Florida that they could come to the Sunshine State and train if restrictions preventing it existed in their own locales.

“Places are opening up. Let’s not forget COVID isn’t magically less contagious now," Malcolm Miller of the Toronto Raptors tweeted Saturday. “The virus itself didn’t get better... stay safe."

Teams have been allowed to welcome players back to their training facilities for voluntary sessions since May 8, and more than half of the league’s franchises have taken advantage of that opportunity.

The next steps along a return-to-play path would likely include a loosening of the restrictions for those voluntary workouts — no more than four players are currently allowed inside any facility at a time — and then a plan for when training camps could open. If the league plans to resume play in late July, then camps conceivably could open around the start of that month.

Rescheduling at least some regular season games could be a major perk for players, even though some teams are out of the playoff mix.

The league can take about 1.08% percent of a player's salary for each regular season game that is not played if what the collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players describes as a “Force Majeure Event,” the legal term for unforeseeable circumstances such as an epidemic or pandemic, is enacted.

The more regular season games played, the less money the players will lose.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36716

Reported Deaths: 1482
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin11892776
Ramsey4724218
Stearns228719
Dakota221889
Anoka2124107
Nobles16556
Olmsted105815
Washington102540
Mower9282
Rice8247
Scott6714
Clay57637
Kandiyohi5651
Wright4485
Blue Earth4222
Todd4002
Carver3481
Lyon3002
Sherburne2974
Freeborn2860
Steele2190
Benton2083
Watonwan2060
St. Louis16915
Martin1615
Nicollet14912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1248
Winona11915
Pine1030
Crow Wing10212
Chisago951
Otter Tail921
Le Sueur861
McLeod850
Carlton830
Dodge810
Polk812
Unassigned8137
Chippewa761
Itasca6512
Isanti640
Douglas610
Meeker581
Waseca580
Morrison571
Becker550
Jackson540
Faribault530
Murray510
Pennington510
Sibley482
Mille Lacs342
Brown312
Wabasha310
Rock290
Yellow Medicine290
Beltrami280
Renville282
Fillmore270
Pipestone261
Houston240
Norman200
Swift201
Wilkin203
Redwood170
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Cass122
Marshall120
Pope100
Lincoln90
Roseau90
Grant80
Clearwater70
Mahnomen71
Lake60
Hubbard50
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 29429

Reported Deaths: 716
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6120178
Woodbury317744
Black Hawk213058
Buena Vista169711
Linn121582
Dallas119429
Johnson11818
Marshall101618
Story7223
Pottawattamie70111
Wapello70130
Crawford6672
Scott66410
Muscatine62044
Dubuque53922
Sioux4570
Tama45129
Wright3750
Louisa36013
Jasper31817
Plymouth3054
Dickinson2492
Warren2491
Washington2299
Hamilton1851
Webster1682
Boone1361
Allamakee1264
Clarke1262
Clay1260
Mahaska11517
Shelby1060
Cerro Gordo1051
Poweshiek1048
Clinton991
Bremer886
Carroll861
Des Moines853
Pocahontas841
Henry823
Taylor790
Franklin780
Cedar771
Emmet750
Cherokee730
Monona710
Floyd662
Marion660
Guthrie644
Hardin630
Sac630
Benton591
Osceola560
Jones550
Jefferson530
Harrison510
Humboldt511
Iowa500
Monroe506
Lee492
Butler472
Calhoun472
Hancock470
Buchanan461
Delaware451
Lyon400
Clayton393
Davis381
Madison372
Grundy340
Mills340
Fayette330
Kossuth320
Winneshiek320
Palo Alto310
Lucas304
Greene280
Mitchell280
Chickasaw270
Howard270
Winnebago260
Jackson250
Union250
Ida220
Appanoose203
Page200
Keokuk191
Van Buren190
Cass170
Audubon161
Adair150
Ringgold150
Worth140
Decatur100
Montgomery102
Adams80
Wayne80
Fremont70
Unassigned40
Rochester
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 86°
Mason City
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 89°
Albert Lea
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 86°
Austin
Scattered Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 89°
Charles City
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 88°
HOT AND HUMID
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

All State Award for local VFW

Image

Raising money for Veteran's roof repair

Image

Alive and Kicking Outdoor Carnival

Image

Beating the Heat at Cascade Lake

Image

Operation Dry Water

Image

Pets and Fireworks

Image

4th Of July Firework Safety

Image

City Administrator Transition Out Of Position

Image

Domestic Pet Act Signed Into Law

Image

AI Driven Emergency Medicine Platform

Community Events