DISNEY World has emerged as the frontrunner to host NBA teams and games if the 2020 season resumes, The Athletic reported Wednesday.
“The NBA has Orlando/Disney World as a clear frontrunner for return-to-play site for resuming 2019-2020 season. Orlando has gained significant seriousness among other cities such as Las Vegas,” Shams Charania reported via Twitter.
Commissioner Adam Silver said on May 12 he wanted to decide within “two to four weeks” whether the NBA would attempt to resume the season halted on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Silver and owners reached agreement on the preference of a “campus environment” for the health and safety of the players and teams, as well as the general public, according to ESPN.
On the most recent Board of Governors call, owners and executives were encouraged about the league’s steps toward returning safely amid the coronavirus pandemic and about positive conversations with the National Basketball Players Association, per ESPN.
The concept of a resort setting — the type of location that would allow all NBA teams to be housed in a controlled environment — was floated first in late March when Silver called upon teams to submit all ideas for an eventual return. The Bahamas and Las Vegas are also on the table.
The report added that Silver emphasized that in order for a return to occur, all parties would need to accept that a single positive test for COVID-19 would not derail the season.
If a positive test would “shut us down, we probably shouldn’t go down this path,” Silver said, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The league suspended play after All-Star Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the virus.