With both the National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer set to resume games at Walt Disney World Resort, there has been much discussion, both online and on television networks like ESPN, regarding whether or not the resumption of professional sports is wise at this time.
Now, Orlando Mayor Jerry Demings has expressed support for the return of pro sports at Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
In an Orange County Task Force meeting, Demings stated:
“Disney has gone through great lengths to ensure the safety of those [NBA] players, and the sanitation associated with the facilities that they will be living in and playing in so that those games will be broadcast for our pleasure. We want to see those games continue.”
22 of the 30 NBA teams are currently set to participate in the Orlando restart.
These teams include 13 Western Conference NBA teams…
- Los Angeles Lakers
- LA Clippers
- Denver Nuggets
- Utah Jazz
- OKC Thunder
- Houston Rockets
- Dallas Mavericks
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Portland Trail Blazers
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Sacramento Kings
- San Antoni Spurs
- Phoenix Suns
…and 9 Eastern Conference NBA teams.
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Toronto Raptors
- Boston Celtics
- Miami Heat
- Indiana Pacers
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Brooklyn Nets
- Orlando Magic
- Washington Wizards
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) is still in talks with the NBA and Walt Disney World Resort executives to finalize plans for the season restart, including player safety protocols.
Although the NBA’s restart schedule could be altered at any time, the current timeline is:
June 22: NBA player coronavirus testing begins
June 30: Training camps begin
July 7-9: Teams travel to Orlando at staggered times
July 31: 2019-2020 regular season resumes
Aug. 16-17: Play-in tournament for playoff berths
Aug. 18: First round of the NBA playoffs begins
Aug. 25: NBA draft lottery
Sept. 1: Second round of the NBA playoffs begins
Sept. 15: NBA Conference Finals start
Sept. 30: Game 1 of the NBA Finals
Oct. 12: Game 7 of the NBA Finals (if necessary)
Oct. 15: NBA draft
Oct. 18: Start of NBA free agency
Nov. 10: 2020-21 training camp begins
Dec. 1: 2020-21 season opening night
During the same Florida Task Force meeting, Demings noted that MLS officials are “exercising an abundance of caution” to ensure that their players and coaches remain safe during their tournament at Walt Disney World. This event will take place before the 2020 NBA season restart in July.
What do you think about the Orlando Mayor’s comments about the NBA restart? Do you agree with professional sports resuming at Disney World?