There have been several reports on the internet that the NBA has, in fact, confirmed they will be playing at Walt Disney World. However, don’t believe everything you read (at least, not on the internet), neither the NBA or Disney have confirmed the news. What has been confirmed, which is what I reported on a few days ago, is that the NBA is in serious talks with Disney to resume their season there. Apparently, talks are so serious, that the NBA released a statement regarding the conversation of it, on its social media.
The following is a statement from NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass: pic.twitter.com/8gfK5iVXs8
— NBA (@NBA) May 23, 2020
Needless to say, we have some questions, and I’m sure you do too. Our #1 question being, does this mean that Disney won’t open to the general public, until the NBA has completed their season there? It’s been made known that the NBA was looking for a place that its teams could play their games, while also protecting them in a safe, almost “bubble” like environment. Does this “bubble” mean, no outsiders?
How did this idea even come about?
Kevin Smith, a writer for Yahoo Sports, wrote an article a few weeks ago that pointed out all the ways Disney World was the most logical place to resume the NBA season. It seemed crazy, and still kind of does, but when you compare it to places like Las Vegas, Disney actually did seem like the best location. Whether Smith’s article was the one that got this whole train rolling, or whether the NBA was already in talks with Disney, has not been confirmed. All we know is, since Smith’s article, it’s been a constant headline in the news.
This might be crazy enough, to actually work.
From the beginning (which of course, was after Kevin Smith’s article), the NBA has said the ideal spot would be a controlled, centralized environment in order to lower the risk of outside infection. As the NBA’s announcement notes, Disney World would provide its own housing accommodation for players and staff in the form of hotels, as well as basketball courts that could handle both practices and official games.
Every bright idea has its drawbacks.
Any plan will require frequent testing for Covid-19, not just of the players but of the other NBA and Disney World employees who would be in regular contact with them. Obviously, anyone testing positive would have to be immediately quarantined and, should the number of positive tests get out of hand, the league would probably be forced to shut down for a second time.
The NBA is currently having discussions with several coronavirus testing providers, although one thing remains clear, Adam Silver (the NBA Commissioner) has already said that the season won’t resume until there are enough tests not just for the entire NBA- but for the country. When will that be? Many areas of the United States are struggling to test their residents. If the NBA wishes to resume their season at Disney World (or wherever they ultimately decide) in July, does this mean there will be enough COIVD-19 tests for the rest of the country at that time?
Creating the “Bubble.”
An exert from Smith’s article reads;
Unlike many of the other locations mentioned as single-site candidates, Walt Disney World is private property. That includes not only the hotels and ESPN Wide World of Sports but the immediate surrounding area as well. In effect, Disney can create a bubble by closing off streets and denying access to any area with relative ease. Some of the other potential locations may be able to restrict access to hotels/housing and the basketball facilities, but closing down the surrounding public areas would be difficult.
Here’s my question, if the NBA is looking to create a “bubble” for its teams and everyone else involved, where does this leave us park guests? The ones whose vacations have been canceled or rescheduled several times due to COVID-19. If the NBA and Disney were to essentially close down the property, it would be nearly impossible to control the guests who are there (on top of, the entire NBA).
Many have speculated that this is one of the reasons we haven’t heard anything from Walt Disney World regarding their plans to reopen, they’re simply waiting to see what comes of the NBA discussion.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, NOTHING has been confirmed, except for the fact that there is a conversation being had between the NBA and Walt Disney World. To read the NBA’s full announcement, click here. You’ll see that the only thing confirmed is “exploratory conversations.”