As the suspension of the 2019-20 NBA season continues, so too does talk about how to salvage whatever season is left. And it looks as though Walt Disney World could be used to do just that.
Yahoo Sports presented the idea to mimic the NBA’s summer league set up only without spectators and all players quarantined on-site. It would involve “sequestering the entire league and playing games at a single site. The idea is to quarantine all the players, coaches, trainers, officials, broadcasters and everyone else necessary for competition in one place.”
It appears that there may be no better place to host such an undertaking than Walt Disney World Resort.
ESPN Wide World of Sports: The New Home of the NBA?
If Disney World were called upon to host the now-rushed NBA season, ESPN’s Wide World of Sports would become the new epicenter of the league. The complex already hosts several full-size basketball facilities ready to go. Disney World is also no stranger to using the complex for hosting major league events. It is already the spring training home for the Atlanta Braves and it played host to the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl.
But Disney’s experience stretches beyond those two examples. . Only this time, there will be no crowds or park openings. All focus would be turned to the teams and their game schedule.
Plenty of Room at Disney World’s Resort Hotels
Walt Disney World has a plethora of hotel space available across the property. Tens of thousands of rooms across multiple hotels from the Deluxe Resorts like Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn to Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort. There is more than enough room to host every team in the NBA with the essential staff.
But even the two resorts closest to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex would be satisfactory.
According to Yahoo,
The Art of Animation Resort has nearly 2,000 hotel rooms; Pop Century Resort has nearly 2,900 rooms. That’s almost 4,900 rooms in two resorts that are connected to each other. Both resorts also feature food and beverage locations that could easily be tweaked to offer meals for all NBA personnel. And both resorts feature swimming pools for relaxation during downtime.
We suggest that rival teams be each quartered in a different hotel.
Disney World’s Separation makes it the Perfect Spot
While other locations like Las Vegas also offer potential, nothing meets Walt Disney World in its level of separation from the outside world. As Walt Disney put it, they have “the blessing of size.” Crazed fans, unauthorized press, and all others who would want to catch even a glimpse of the new season in person would have to get through a massive natural buffer zone consisting of the distance they would have to cover from leaving the main highway to reach the “quarantine zone.”
If the NBA and the nation’s leaders agree to this idea, Disney will also have a leg up in the negotiations because of their “ace in the hole”: ESPN. That influence over the sports world has already coerced UFC to suspend its events, it could undoubtedly be used to secure the NBA’s season which would bring in some much-needed revenue to the Mega Resort.