Since officially suspending the 2019-2020 season, the NBA has been looking for ways to deliver basketball to its fans. Most recently the league and the Players Association have been in talks with Disney about restarting the season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. If details are worked out the property located on the Disney World complex near Orlando, Florida will become a campus for games, practices and housing.
In recent weeks, Florida has become the place for sports and sports entertainment as the WWE has been broadcasting fan-free televised events from its performance center in Orlando and the UFC held a series of fight cards at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
According to the NBA’s chief communications officer, Mike Bass, “our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved,” with optimism pointing to the season starting back up early as late July. “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.”
Disney’s interest in getting the NBA season started again comes from its ownership of ESPN, as the prolonged suspension has seriously hurt its viewership and advertising revenue. Aside from ESPN holding broadcasting rights to games alongside WarnerMedia, the NBA Finals are broadcasted on Disney’s ABC.
Catch an excerpt from the talks between the NBA and Disney below.
The following is a statement from NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass: pic.twitter.com/8gfK5iVXs8
— NBA (@NBA) May 23, 2020